In the early morning of April 19th, 2017, Aaron Hernandez was found dead in his jail cell after committing suicide. Most thought that this was the end of a tragic, life-taking-a-wrong-turn type of story where some sort of justice was achieved through his death.
Then today, barely two weeks later, Hernandez's suicide note was released to the press, adding another chapter to this already sad story.
Yet no matter the developments or outcomes of this ongoing case, what everyone fails to realize is that there are no winners in this entire situation. Even if his family receives some sort of financial windfall through his death, his choice to lead a thug life means that his family ultimately loses despite the millions that may be shelled out. The victim's families lost their sons. A woman has lost her fiance, a daughter lost her father and they will both forever be tainted with the titles of being the fiance and daughter of the infamous Aaron Hernandez. It ultimately equates to nothing else but loss.
(Commonwealth of Massachusetts)
On Saturday evening, the media exploded with stories about Hernandez's suicide note and how his death could result in his fiance receiving millions of dollars. The theory behind this is that Hernandez might have committed suicide to take advantage of a legal precedent in the state of Massachusetts which allows for the voiding of a person's conviction if he/she dies before the appeals process has been exhausted.
Through this legality, Hernandez would theoretically have his murder conviction vacated, which would mean that both the Patriots and the NFL wouldn't have any reason to withhold the millions from him or his estate, which is what happened since his arrest.
Taking advantage of this is his legal team, which has filed a motion to have his first-degree murder conviction overturned. In response, the Bristol, Massachisetts DA's office filed a motion opposing the Hernandez team's motion. At stake financially is an estimated $7 million, which consists of the reported sales value of his home, his signing bonus and guaranteed contract, the latter two of which have been withheld.
But what's really at stake is much more significant than legal wranglings and financial implications. For Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, daughter Avielle and the families of Odin Lloyd, Daniel de Abreu and Safiro Furtado, the three men he was accused of killing (the former of which he was found guilty of killing and sentenced to life for), the note and implications reignite feelings of pain, sadness, anger and loss.
Every family and friend involved lost a piece of their lives they can never get back. How do you think they will feel if Shayanna and Avielle collect millions? Will they consider it a slap in the face? Do they challenge the ruling and take the chance of hurting two innocent people? Do they even want to fight another battle, this time against two people whom also lost?
All of these factors and decisions because of the foolish choice by one man to place the thug life over family life and life in general.
Dave Chappelle joked about "when keeping it real goes wrong." Although we laughed with him, it's an unfortunate situation everyone has to take seriously in the real world.
How many stories have we heard involving men of color who live that life or who place their ego before common sense? How often have we seen situations escalate unnecessarily and go very bad very quickly, and for no real reason?
We've all witnessed how the accidental bump or spilled drink fans the flames of "disrespect" some men feel "require" payback. Was ambushing de Abreu and Furtado worth the cost of never seeing your loved ones again? Worth the cost of not seeing your daughter grow up to be a successful woman? Worth the cost of your career and life?
That's the thing about the thug life. It always costs more than one can afford and it never pays off.
So even if his family rakes in millions, it will ultimately be at the expense of life all around, and no one ever beats death at its own game.