New England Patriots fans eager to be rid of their Aaron Hernandez jerseys turned up at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass. in droves over the holiday weekend. The disenchanted fans brought their No. 81 jerseys to a shop at the stadium departed with a piece of Patriots apparel emblazoned with a name other than "Hernandez."
Acting quickly to cut ties with Hernandez after his June arrest and murder charge, the Patriots not only released the 23-year-old tight but also told fans that they could exchange a Hernandez jersey for another player's replica in person on July 6-7, provided the original jersey had to have been purchased at the Patriots ProShop or online at PatriotsProShop.com
“We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore,” New England Patriots spokesperson Stacey James said in a statement announcing the offer. “We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”
The Patriots hope to recycle the jerseys into another product but will destroy them if that isn't possible, according to the Boston.com. Regardless of where they jerseys end up, they'll no longer be in the closets of more than 1,000 fans.
As of 5 pm, @PatriotsProShop has received nearly 1,200 Hernandez jersey exchanges. Most popular replacements: Wilfork, Brady, Jones & Ridley
— New England Patriots (@Patriots) July 6, 2013