Ryan O’Callaghan explains his decision to participate in Aaron Hernandez documentary

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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.

13 responses to “Ryan O’Callaghan explains his decision to participate in Aaron Hernandez documentary

  1. Simple: cash grab. Nobody knew who O’Callaghan was. He has nothing to do with Hernandez. They didn’t play together. He came out after he was done playing. Seems to me he’s trying to stay relevant because nobody cared that he was gay.

  2. I was far more confused/annoyed by Chris Borland’s role in the show. Like you say, Borland has zero experience with CTE other than having decided to quit football to reduce his likelihood of getting it. Every comment made by him in the show seemed completely irrelevant and more like a personal agenda item to discourage people from playing football.

    I thought at least O’Callaghan’s role in the show was logical in the sense that he at least personally understood the struggles a closeted gay/bisexual football player goes through.

    I didn’t get the impression that the show was trying to excuse Hernandez in any way. I think they were just trying to cover all of the potential contributing factors. Someone can just be a psychopathic killer while still also having aggravating issues in their lives that make their behavior even more extreme than it otherwise might have been.

  3. Every killer was once a non-killer. The news shows us that people often kill for reasons that don’t seem compelling to the rest of us. Hernandez grew up around gang types. Maybe that made him think of murder as a way to solve problems. Maybe the fear of being outed was the extra push, maybe it was CTE, maybe it was any number of things. The point is, we’ll never know, which means it’s all speculation. Netflix allowed some film-makers to put their speculation into a docudrama.

  4. Throwing the word murderer around alot for a guy that isn’t guilty of any murder in the eyes of the law

  5. thehaljordanproject says:
    January 18, 2020 at 11:41 am
    Throwing the word murderer around alot for a guy that isn’t guilty of any murder in the eyes of the law

    ——-

    Aaron Hernandez’s Murder conviction was reinstated by the Massachusetts High Courts. So yes, he is a murderer and can be called that. Aaron Hernandez is a Murderer Murderer Murderer. See I just called him that

  6. Hernandez was who he was because of the choices he made in life. Nothing about his upbringing, his time in college, his sexual preferences or playing football forced him to pull out a gun and shoot someone.

  7. thehaljordanproject says:
    January 18, 2020 at 11:41 am
    Throwing the word murderer around alot for a guy that isn’t guilty of any murder in the eyes of the law
    ——————————-

    Ummmm….he was convicted of murder, in a courtroom, with a judge and lawyers. That would be guilty in the eye of the law.

  8. I didn’t feel like the documentary was necessarily trying to excuse Hernandez as much as try to explain his actions.
    Absent a confession, all that is left is speculation. Natural curiosity, coupled with our obsession with celebrity status, fueled by media looking for the next salacious story will always drive the fascination with what normally are considered heinous crimes.

  9. Well, if you are going to write off CTE as a possible reason for Hernandez’s actions,lets not hear it the next time a former player commits suicide, beats a spouse or simply can’t find their way home. No one knows at this point exactly how badly CTE may change a persons brain and actions, so there’s no line to draw and say “well, suicide, yes, memory loss, yes, but homicidal rage, no”.Again, I don’t believe the documentary was at all trying to “justify or excuse” his actions. It was, like any good documentary should, trying to show that simple, easy answers aren’t always that simple and easy.

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