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Photographer upset that Hall of Fame pulled Hernandez photo


Every year, the Pro Football Hall of Fame asks a panel of photography experts to choose the best NFL photo of the year. The photographer gets an award, and the picture is put on display at the Hall of Fame.

In the case of this award-winning picture of Aaron Hernandez scoring a touchdown in 2010, the photo was displayed for a year after it won the photography award, then put up again this year as part of a new exhibit displaying some of the best pictures in the Hall of Fame’s collection. The Hall of Fame took the picture down, however, when Hernandez was accused of murder and visitors suggested that it wasn’t appropriate.

That was disappointing for Mary Schwalm, who took the picture of Hernandez.

It is disappointing,” Schwalm told the Sporting News. “I was able to say, ‘I have a photo hanging in the Hall of Fame.’ Can I still say that? . . . I’m bummed. I’m disappointed.”

Schwalm is still the winner of the 2010 award, and her picture — which captured the joy of Hernandez as he scored and the disappointment of the fallen Packers defensive back behind him — is still a good one. It’s just not one the Hall of Fame wants to display right now.

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95 Responses to “Photographer upset that Hall of Fame pulled Hernandez photo”
  1. afcdomination says: Jul 16, 2013 6:34 AM

    the HORROR

  2. mgpet says: Jul 16, 2013 6:39 AM


  3. wryly1 says: Jul 16, 2013 6:40 AM

    Schwalm still has her award whether Canton displays the photo or not, but it’s not about her in the first place. Offer the pic to the photography Hall of Fame and see if they want to display it. Done.

  4. suhisbetterthanu says: Jul 16, 2013 6:42 AM

    That’s just a little selfish.

  5. whodeytn says: Jul 16, 2013 6:44 AM

    Is there a photo of Ray Lewis in the Hall?

  6. millertime30 says: Jul 16, 2013 6:47 AM

    Selfish. She won her award, and I’m sure they’re not taking away any certificates. Her being able to say ‘I have a picture hanging in the HOF’ isn’t as big a deal as the prospect of Odin Lloyd’s family and friends having to see that same picture of their loved ones’ killer in the Hall.

  7. thebigtebowski says: Jul 16, 2013 6:48 AM


  8. remyje says: Jul 16, 2013 6:49 AM

    Is there any photos of Ray Lewis? They wouldn’t take those down because he loves God, right?

  9. duffelbagsports says: Jul 16, 2013 6:52 AM

    Agreed they weren’t celebrating Hernandez yhey eere recognizing the art

  10. roverboy1949 says: Jul 16, 2013 6:52 AM

    So I guess OJ’s pictures and awards will be coming down, along with every other player who was “accused” of any objectionable crime. It is now called “The Hall of Fame for those not accused of a crime”.

  11. expertop says: Jul 16, 2013 6:54 AM

    Gee, that’s too bad.

  12. fin1fan says: Jul 16, 2013 6:56 AM

    Wondering if O J’s pictures are still there………

  13. ghent32 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:07 AM

    This is very easy to handle, simply allow this particular lady the opportunity to take another photo, and that one will be posted in the HOF.

    Very simple solution here. It’s a good gesture, and the Hall should see that.

  14. doctorjagaloon says: Jul 16, 2013 7:09 AM

    Exactly what wryly1 said

  15. dcapettini says: Jul 16, 2013 7:12 AM

    Replace it with the picture of him handcuffed under his shirt. That was a classic!
    As for the photographer, Odin’s mother used to be able to say “I have a son.” Now what has she got? Get some perspective lady!

  16. wte1 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:12 AM

    The photographer is correct. The HOF should have told her in advance the picture was coming down.

  17. wwwmattcom says: Jul 16, 2013 7:12 AM

    Put it in the photography hall of fame.

  18. audient says: Jul 16, 2013 7:15 AM

    I side with the photographer here. She won the contest based on her photography. Why the sudden white-washing of the sport, and why stop here?

  19. titansbro says: Jul 16, 2013 7:16 AM

    Get over it lady.

  20. whatjusthapped says: Jul 16, 2013 7:18 AM

    Boo hoo, get over it buddy.

    Now you can say that you “used” to have a photograph in the HOF. As a pick up line at the local bar, I question its relative impact.

  21. hansenbrothers says: Jul 16, 2013 7:22 AM

    Just put up another one of her photos from that year, boom…easy solution.

  22. maritime85 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:24 AM

    the pic wasn’t THAT great, I can’t understand that was the best pic of 2010

  23. jojopuppyfish says: Jul 16, 2013 7:25 AM

    If I was the photographer I’d be angry.
    If I was a visitor I’d be angry.
    If I was Aaron Hernandez, I’d be angry.
    If I was Odin Lloyd, I’d be dead

  24. vincentbojackson says: Jul 16, 2013 7:26 AM

    “I’m bummed. I’m disappointed,” Schwalm said.


    Also bummed….the family of the guy Hernandez shot in the head and killed.

    Try to keep your troubles in perspective lady.

  25. donnymacjack says: Jul 16, 2013 7:29 AM

    They should just let her submit another photo of someone else.

  26. tatatoothy says: Jul 16, 2013 7:29 AM

    Tiki is flabbergasted

  27. ausernamethatisavailable says: Jul 16, 2013 7:35 AM

    Earlier commenter stole my thunder. Oj, i believe, is still in the hof. He is also a much better comparison to the guilt of an accused murderer than Zimmerman. Z was facing much less evidence than oj or Hernandez.

  28. gloryfromheaven says: Jul 16, 2013 7:35 AM

    It would be pretty unfortunate for that to happen, he probably is upset about it but I’m sure he understand’s why…

  29. gloryfromheaven says: Jul 16, 2013 7:36 AM


  30. mutohasaposse says: Jul 16, 2013 7:37 AM

    Wow, the Aaaron Hernandez situation brings another twist. For the first time we now get to wait for a photographer to backpedal on comments and say she was misquoted or her comments were taken out of text. Let the countdown begin.

  31. txbossman says: Jul 16, 2013 7:39 AM

    It’s all about you, isn’t it?

  32. Kaz says: Jul 16, 2013 7:51 AM

    No matter what the league does we still remember Hernandez played NFL football. And if we soon forget from all the images being removed and wiped from the record, Dolphins, Jets, and Bills fans will surely keep us reminded.

  33. ras1tafari says: Jul 16, 2013 7:54 AM

    Let’s just pretend Aaron Hernandez never existed. While we’re at it, let’s get rid of the number 81.

  34. citiciti says: Jul 16, 2013 7:55 AM

    She should blame Urban Meyer,I bet he took it down.

  35. thefiesty1 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:55 AM

    Get over yourself. Maybe take landscape photos instead of idolizing athletes.

  36. ajgreenhof says: Jul 16, 2013 7:56 AM

    The situation is bigger then Mary and her photo.

  37. rpiotr01 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:57 AM

    On the bright side, unlike most people she can now boast that she captured a murderer in his glory… so there’s that.

  38. alexb1234 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:58 AM

    The Hall of Fame should choose a photo of Schwalm’s from that year to have it displayed in the place of Hernandez’ photo. It makes sense to take down the photo but it doesn’t make sense to punish the photographer when clearly this was a major accomplishment in her career.

  39. jay0134 says: Jul 16, 2013 8:01 AM

    Gues it really is guilty till proven innocent.

  40. ttoptom says: Jul 16, 2013 8:07 AM

    I disagree with wryly1 – it is about Schwalm. They had a photography contest and she won. The subject of the photo was not relevant in the contest – it could have been cleats laying in the middle of an empty field.

    I looked at the photo and obviously it is a Patriot #85, but no player name is visible.

    They didn’t remove O.J. when he was accused, and his display IS about him.

    If AH is convicted, then this is still a great photo, and it is also a good lesson on how to blow up the potential of a great player and life.

  41. goodellisruiningtheleague says: Jul 16, 2013 8:11 AM

    Meanwhile Ray Lewis pictures are still allowed to be hung and will be inducted into the hall of fame. The irony.

  42. myeaglescantwin says: Jul 16, 2013 8:38 AM


    this is a story because?? why???

    I love the whole guilty until proven innocent theme the NFL is working here.

    solid case study for the judicial system.

  43. SilentMajority says: Jul 16, 2013 8:43 AM

    So the main complaint is that she can’t brag to her friends anymore? I’m sure if he’s found not-guilty they’ll hang it back up, and if he’s found guilty she can brag that she photographed a serial killer…

  44. somekat says: Jul 16, 2013 8:45 AM

    Who cares, the picture was weak anyway. If that was the “best” picture taken at an NFL game that year, every single photographer the NFL pays should immediately be fired

  45. swagger52 says: Jul 16, 2013 8:46 AM

    What about taking Brady and his Super Bowl win caused by payoff to Walt Coleman? Why is that still hanging?

  46. whitdog23 says: Jul 16, 2013 8:46 AM

    there’s an award for having a pic hanging at hall of fame? it may be considered but I highly doubt there’s an award.

    tell mary she’s just like all the college players on these preseason watch lists. nobody cares but you

  47. deadunicorn says: Jul 16, 2013 8:51 AM

    Replace it with a photo of BB’s video camera

  48. daytonaken says: Jul 16, 2013 8:54 AM

    The picture was in the Football Hall of Fame not a photographic museum, of course they took it down. You ain’t goin’ to see George Zimmerman’s picture on any NRA posters either!

  49. blackandbluedivision says: Jul 16, 2013 8:56 AM

    put up another one of her pictures from that year.
    I’m sure she has more.

  50. jimthebuilder27 says: Jul 16, 2013 8:57 AM


  51. acousticphan says: Jul 16, 2013 9:03 AM

    Solution: Where the picture once hung, mount a plaque as a tribute to the photographer to represent her achievement. Maybe let her pick another photo to replace the one that was removed.

    This is not a crisis.

  52. tundey says: Jul 16, 2013 9:13 AM

    What’s the point of this? If this was a statue in his honor, I can understand removing it so as not to glorify him. However, I don’t support this attempt by the NFL to scrub all traces of his ever having played the game.

  53. theflyingtad says: Jul 16, 2013 9:14 AM

    Safe to say, this is a first world problem.

  54. firethorn1001 says: Jul 16, 2013 9:17 AM

    I haven’t seen the joy of a major award ruined like this since the old man’s leg lamp was destroyed.

    Perhaps they can give her the photo back so she can bury it in the backyard.

  55. sikoix says: Jul 16, 2013 9:21 AM

    She sounds selfish, but as a photographer I can sympathize with her. It’s hard enough to get people to acknowledge photography is a real thing — and having a picture in the NFL hall of fame can be the difference between a lot of work/income and not being successful. That said, the photo shouldn’t be there.

  56. vdogg says: Jul 16, 2013 9:22 AM

    Good thing it was never all about the photographer. She was just someone who was geniunely trying to promote the game……

  57. gobulls68 says: Jul 16, 2013 9:27 AM

    I can see why they removed it. A black man laying on the ground looking like he’s been shot while Hernandez runs away? Too close to real life events.

  58. belichickdominatedjoemontana says: Jul 16, 2013 9:37 AM

    Airbrush his arms and we will call him Ochocinco. Now it can stay in the HOF.

  59. tigersfandan says: Jul 16, 2013 9:39 AM

    Is she supposed to be happy? Is it that unreasonable for her to wish that the Hall of Fame had told her about it? People are always in such a big hurry to slam other people.

  60. talkingproud says: Jul 16, 2013 9:42 AM

    Does anyone else think NFL HOF building sort of looks like a bullet emerging from the barrel of a gun?

  61. bucrightoff says: Jul 16, 2013 9:50 AM

    America is such a funny country. If Hernandez walks and love God, like #52, no doubt they’ll let the picture back. Even the freaking Juice’s stuff is still up there and he decipitated someone.

  62. robgilman says: Jul 16, 2013 9:53 AM

    all she said was that she is disappointed…

  63. timbuttrum says: Jul 16, 2013 10:07 AM

    I always am fascinated at thinking about who took a particular photo rather than the actual photo itself.

  64. swagger52 says: Jul 16, 2013 10:14 AM

    Like CBX…If they were to crawl outside of Tom Brady’s jockstrap they would find more legitimate pictures.

    Spend more time taking pictures of the Ravens…
    You know..Flacco throwing it further than a Safety ever thought it can be thrown.

    Did you see the Home Run Derby last night? That is what it looks like when the ball travels further than you are accustomed. You badly misplay it. That is what happened in Denver.

  65. koolaidcircusbeast says: Jul 16, 2013 10:22 AM

    I wonder if Joe Paterno is presented in the CFHOF.

  66. eatitfanboy says: Jul 16, 2013 10:26 AM

    The person we should be saying “waaah” to is the Hall of Fame visitor who was offended by having to look at a picture of someone who got arrested for murder.

    I mean, seriously, a picture? What’s next, do we have to destroy all highlight reels from that game that have that play in it? The man was a football player, he played in the game, the play happened, now he’s in jail. The events are unrelated.

    How perfect must that person’s life be that seeing that picture counts as a traumatic event for them?

  67. insanelomein2 says: Jul 16, 2013 10:34 AM

    Will they at least give her the photo?

  68. Andre's Johnson says: Jul 16, 2013 10:36 AM

    Yeah, this is one of those things that just sucks for everyone. The HOF probably has no choice but to remove the photo. And I can totally understand the photographer’s disappointment. And then there’s the victim and his family…

    No one wins here.

  69. Getoffmylawn! says: Jul 16, 2013 10:41 AM

    Crap, I only go to the HOF to see the great photographers names under the pictures.
    She is more famous now than if the picture stayed there for 100 years!
    Nobody cares WHO took the picture! We are football fans.

  70. malkinrulez says: Jul 16, 2013 10:44 AM

    Cry me a river

  71. 49erstim says: Jul 16, 2013 10:57 AM

    @eatitfanboy…… yep! Spot on.

  72. indywilson40 says: Jul 16, 2013 10:59 AM

    Get over it lady. The Hall of Fame owes you nothing. Also, Drew Brees wants an explanation.

  73. harrisonhits2 says: Jul 16, 2013 11:01 AM

    The NFL is missing one important point.

    No matter how much they try and whitewash Hernandez from NFL records, they cannot change the fact that he was in the NFL, he most like killed someone, and that those facts will always be associated with the league.

  74. nuttyj says: Jul 16, 2013 11:29 AM

    The photographer must look at big picture and accept the removal of photo. HOWEVER, HOF should allow them to submit other photos so that a different picture from this photographer would remain on display even with a *.

  75. weepingjebus says: Jul 16, 2013 11:32 AM

    If it’s that famous one of Hernandez running with a bloody ball while blowing a large blue neon bubble, the police may have needed it for evidence.

  76. CKL says: Jul 16, 2013 11:36 AM

    ajgreenhof says:
    Jul 16, 2013 7:56 AM
    The situation is bigger then Mary and her photo.
    Yes the situation is bigger. But it didn’t need to affect her livlihood like this. She’s not “whining”, ranting or raving. She’s expressing her feelings on having her picture removed, and without any notice from the place removing it which in my book is not the right way for the HOF to have handled it.

    gobulls68 wins the thread in my book. LOL

  77. azarkhan says: Jul 16, 2013 11:36 AM

    Poor thing. Better luck next time.

  78. travishenrykid says: Jul 16, 2013 11:52 AM

    O.J. Simpson’s bust is definitely still in the Hall. Kind of hypocritical.

  79. thefox61 says: Jul 16, 2013 11:56 AM

    What a bunch of hypocrits. The same people here that we’re crying that we’ve become to PC when it comes to changing Washington’s name are now being PC on this issue? Pick a side people.

  80. controllerzero says: Jul 16, 2013 12:15 PM

    Really? That was the winning photograph?

  81. harrycanyon says: Jul 16, 2013 12:15 PM

    wte1 says: Jul 16, 2013 7:12 AM

    The photographer is correct. The HOF should have told her in advance the picture was coming down.

    Common sense should have told her and everyone else that anything related to this man would be cleansed from the NFL.

  82. tonyxochoa says: Jul 16, 2013 12:17 PM

    They should display a different photo of hers from 2010. Problem solved.

  83. saints4life57 says: Jul 16, 2013 12:21 PM

    Does anyone happen to have the number to the Whaanimal Control? I think we have a cry baby out loose on the streets! ; )

  84. bookofelisha10 says: Jul 16, 2013 12:35 PM

    i get why nfl and HOF are doing what theyre doing..but seriously? i mean if you take down all the pics of humans that messed up in society you’d need to take down ray lewis, LT, stallworth ( he might have his hamstring in there). and a BUNCH of others.

  85. steelerben says: Jul 16, 2013 12:38 PM

    ttoptom says:
    Jul 16, 2013 8:07 AM
    I disagree with wryly1 – it is about Schwalm. They had a photography contest and she won. The subject of the photo was not relevant in the contest – it could have been cleats laying in the middle of an empty field.

    I looked at the photo and obviously it is a Patriot #85, but no player name is visible.

    They didn’t remove O.J. when he was accused, and his display IS about him.

    If AH is convicted, then this is still a great photo, and it is also a good lesson on how to blow up the potential of a great player and life


    This a million times.

    She won an award and was to have a photo permanently displayed in the Hall of Fame. That’s a pretty big honor. It was her award, not Hernandez’s.

    They aren’t taking out LT’s stuff, and he was convicted of hiring underage prostitutes. The NFL Hall of Fame makes a point of saying that only on field accomplishment is to be considered.

    I understand that Hernandez is an embarrassment to the league. I understand that Odin Lloyd is dead. Will taking down this woman’s photo bring him back?

  86. donth8thehorns says: Jul 16, 2013 12:54 PM

    This is so rediculous! She should be pissed! The hall should be ashamed! As well as the NFL, taking down his stats from the site , removing him from the Hall??? The guy has been accused not convicted! Yeah, we have a crackhead, junkie’s word for it though???? That is their biggest piece to this puzzle?? There is other evidence that Hernandez car was involved, but crazier things have happened! We may find out that he indeed was not @ all the shooter! Maybe he is, but until that day, and even after that day, he is a part of football history and especially that photo! Americans can be so soft! Pathetic really

  87. fyreandnice says: Jul 16, 2013 12:57 PM

    I think it’s lame that people are jumping all over the photographer here instead of the crybabies who pressured the HoF to take the photo down. How does these sensitive ninnies handle watching the news or, god forbid, catch a glance at a picture of Hitler? Miserable bastards are always trying to ruin other people’s good times.

  88. shoeflypie says: Jul 16, 2013 1:02 PM

    HOF pulled a photo of an ACCUSED murderer. If he had been found guilty, yes, remove the photo. But wait until then. After all, half of Sanford, FL, expected (wanted?) Zimmerman to be found guilty. Why don’t we, just for fun, wait until the jury hears the evidence for and against AH and makes a decision before we pronounce AH a murderer?

    Oh, wait, we just pretend to believe in justice. It’s more about revenge and kicking someone who is currently down. AH may well be guilty, but the courts have not yet declared him to be so. How is it the general public knows already?

  89. patswhatsup says: Jul 16, 2013 1:14 PM

    As a fellow photographer, I understand her struggle with this. It is incredibly hard to be recognized AT ALL in the field of photography, because any yahoo with a rebel T2I thinks they are a pro. It’s next to impossible to have a photograph displayed permanently in such a prominent place like that. I would be bummed too. The photograph in the hall celebrates the PHOTOGRAPHER, not the player.

  90. returntoexcellence says: Jul 16, 2013 1:53 PM

    For those of you who obviously don’t understand the difference between a photo of OJ and a photo of Hernandez. OJ was actually inducted in to the hall of fame where as Hernandez is not, and never will be. Let me say it again. OJ is a HOF’er and Hernandez is NOT. That’s why it is not hypocritical to remove Hernandez and leave OJ. Although I would be more than okay with them removing OJ as well…

  91. thestrategyexpert says: Jul 16, 2013 2:10 PM

    The photographer should just ask for a list from the NFL of players that they do vouch for as fair game to photograph. I just won’t take pictures of any of the players that don’t count for having their pictures taken. So which ones are they? Tell me now so I don’t waste my time in advance.

  92. mackcarrington says: Jul 16, 2013 2:27 PM

    That photographer was honored for the photograph she took. What did she do wrong? As previous posters have said, it is important that photographers get CREDIT for their pictures. In this case they are punishing the photographer. Is NFL Films going to burn all Patriot footage from the last 3 seasons just because Hernandez is in them if someone complains about them?

  93. Corey Jeppesen says: Jul 16, 2013 2:47 PM

    ll you people ridiculing this lady and calling her selfish, calm down and try to understand some perspective. I’m a graphic designer and photographer by career and completely understand why she’s disappointed. That’s her work. Some of you are so quick to discount stuff like this just because this field is work isn’t important to you. She probably worked really hard to accomplish something like this. I’d be disappointed too.

  94. brazzz01 says: Jul 16, 2013 3:44 PM


  95. sugareehill says: Jul 19, 2013 2:13 AM

    Soon enough there will be a “Hall Of Shame” whose walls will be lined with player photos..

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