Sometimes lost in the questions surrounding the involvement of Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez in the death of a Massachusetts man is the reality that 27-year-old Odin Lloyd died violently after being shot, per the Boston Globe, multiple times.
“I want the person that killed my son to be brought to justice,” Ursula Ward, Lloyd’s mother, told ABC. “That’s my first-born child, my only boy child, and they took him away from me. . . . I wouldn’t trade him for all the money in the world. And if money could bring him back I would give this house up to bring my son back. Nothing can bring my son back.”
As the suspects take solace in their legal rights and hatch strategies with their lawyers, here’s hoping this crime gets solved. Regardless of who killed Odin Lloyd and who else was involved before or after the fact in what may have been a clumsy, idiotic effort to cover it up, a man with decades left to live has died in a cruel, awful way.
By all appearances, Hernandez knows something. He may know a lot more than something. While he has the right to remain silent in court, the NFL has the ability to strip from Hernandez the privilege of playing professional football unless he cooperates with authorities to their full and complete satisfaction.
Even under the NFL’s sometimes warped version of justice, which punishes grown men for smoking marijuana on their own time and suspends for a fourth of a season starting quarterbacks who were never arrested or charged with a crime, the just outcome in this case could be to prevent Hernandez from playing football until the authorities conclude that he has done everything he can to help them figure out who killed Odin Lloyd.
The NFL has the power to do it. And the NFLPA, thanks to the agreed-to terms and provisions of the personal-conduct policy, has little power to stop it.