The new Aaron Hernandez documentary, which meanders through various potential excuses and justifications for the murder(s) he committed, tries to suggest among other things that his killing spree was fueled, possibly, by repressed homosexuality and/or head trauma from football. And so the documentary includes extended commentary from a former football player who repressed his homosexuality and a former football player who retired after one season due to concerns over head injuries.
It felt like a hard right turn to wedge Ryan O’Callaghan and Chris Borland into the narrative, since they never played with Hernandez and didn’t personally know him. O’Callaghan has explained his decision to participate.
“Obviously, being gay doesn’t make you want to kill someone,” O’Callaghan told Alex Reimer of OutSports.com. “But covering your tracks could lead you to do some really weird things if you think the consequences of being out are that bad.”
The documentary at one point floats the notion that Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd because Lloyd possibly had caught Hernandez in a compromising situation that would have resulted in Hernandez potentially being outed. (Theories suggested at the time of the investigation and trial centered more on Lloyd having knowledge of Hernandez’s alleged role in the double-murder for which Hernandez eventually was acquitted.)
“One person can only handle so much,” O’Callaghan told Outsports. “I was already in a bad head space. To add all of those extra things to worry about it, I don’t know what it would’ve done to me. I know it wouldn’t have been good.”
The notion that it would convert a non-murderer into a murderer continues to feel like a stretch. But no more of a stretch than the notion that CTE made Hernandez into a killer, with the link bolstered not by someone who actually is experiencing CTE-style symptoms after a decade or longer in pro football but by talking to someone who supposedly was going to become the impetus for an exodus from football of young players.