The story of football star Aaron Hernandez is sad and horrifying at the same time. The former New England Patriots player is in jail awaiting trial on murder charges and it looks like his former clubs have thrown in the towel on him.
The Patriots severed ties with Hernandez shortly after his arrest, and this week his alma mater, the University of Florida, began erasing his name from the UF history books, including removing his All American plaque from the stadium.
This week the New York post wrote a piece speculating that NFL teams could start digging deeper into college players’ pasts before drafting them:
“Franchises could start having police experts examine the tattoos of potential players for a possible gang affiliation, according to CBS Sports report. This buzz comes in the wake of former Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez’s first-degree murder charge – there’s concern that Hernandez could have gang-related tattoos.”
That makes sense, doesn’t it? If a player, one in whom your franchise is going to invest tens of millions of dollars, has chosen to print gang-related messages on his body, isn’t that something you’d like to know about beforehand? This is bound to happen.
As NFL and other pro teams beef up the resources that they devote to looking into the pasts of their prospects, players’ online identity is bound to come under more scrutiny as well. It’s already happening at the college level – college athletic recruiters are checking social media to determine whether a player is a good risk. We encourage aspiring athletes to start early making sure that they are as good a citizen online as they are on the field.
Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring teen internet activity.