Does the NFL have a violence problem? Aaron Hernandez just the latest to be charged

Posted: 10:51 PM, Jun 26, 2013
Updated: 2013-06-26 22:51:03-04

NEW YORK (PIX11 ) – Aaron Hernandez is a 23-year-old multimillionaire and, until recently, a star tight end for one of the NFL’s elite teams.

Today, he was escorted into a Massachusetts courtroom in handcuffs and stood as a prosecutor laid out the case against him.

“Your honor, The defendant is charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. He orchestrated the crime from the beginning and took steps to conceal and destroy the evidence”, prosecutor Bill McCauley said in court.

The victim – Hernandez’s friend — was 27-year-old Odin Lloyd.

His body was found- with multiple gunshot wounds – less than a mile away from the NFL star’s sprawling home.

Prosecutors say a sedan Hernandez rented was also seen driving to and from the site where Lloyd’s body was found and 45-caliber gun shell casings found at that scene match shell casings found in the same rented vehicle.

Apparently, the New England Patriots – who signed Hernandez to a $40 million contract – have seen enough.

They cut him from the team before he stepped in the courthouse.

“Words cannot express the disappointment we feel knowing that one of our players was arrested as a result of this investigation.”

It’s still unclear what really happened on the night in question.

But we do know Hernandez’s character was already in question, dating back to his college days, when several NFL teams quietly expressed concern over the tight end’s drug use, and other questionable conduct.

For Hernandez and the dozens of other NFL players over the years who have run into the trouble the motives were not initially clear.

“We have been struck by a lot of reckless behavior on the part of highly paid athletes.”

But Sports psychologist Dr. William Wiener says in many cases, these players turned defendants all had one thing in common — immense wealth and blinding stardom, suddenly thrust upon them — often with tragic consequences.

“I think there is a connection. And I think the big contracts, and the celebrity that many athletes are afforded does lead to a sense of invincibility, and often times I think athletes with those kinds of advantages not subject to the same rules that the rest of us are,” Wiener said.