Former New England Patriots star Aaron Hernandez’s recent arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd has had a strange effect on the sale of his uniforms. In an unlikely turn of events, Hernandez’s jerseys are now selling for well above their face value on eBay.
John Lamothe, a Patriots fan living in Fla., recounted his own experience selling a Hernandez jersey. “I thought about giving it to Goodwill,” Lamothe told the Boston Globe, “but I didn’t think anybody would want it.”
Instead, he decided to place the Hernandez jersey on eBay, hoping to recoup a small portion of the item’s purchase price. “I thought I might get $15 for it,” he told the Globe. The jersey would later sell for $289.
Lamothe isn’t the only Patriots fan to experience this phenomenon. More than 1,700 eBay users have viewed a similar jersey posted by Ben Kent, a Patriots fan from Virginia. Although he paid just $50 for the uniform, the bidding reached $227, the Globe reports. Another eBay user posted a Hernandez jersey with a starting bid of just 99 cents, writing that he “just [wanted] it the *bleep* out of this house.” By Monday, the jersey had drawn 37 bids and a price of $210.
The spike in Hernandez jersey prices occurred short after the Patriots decided to sever all remaining ties with their fallen star. Once news of Hernandez’s arrest for Lloyd's murder broke, the Patriots released the 23-year-old from his five-year, $40 million contract, erasing all records of his statistics from the team’s official website. On June 28, the franchise announced that fans would be allowed to exchange any “number 81” Hernandez uniform for the jersey of any other Patriots player.
So why are football fans so interested in ordering the jersey of a player who stands accused of first-degree murder? It seems unlikely that any fan, even the most intransigent Patriots supporter, expects to wear a Hernandez jersey at Gillette Stadium this season. “I can’t think of any reason why people would want it,” Lynn L’Heureux of Oxford, an eBay user with a uniform on the market, told the Globe. “They might think it will go up in value later on, and maybe it will, but I’m not interested.”
Fans who are unwilling to profit off the sale of their Hernandez jerseys can always take the Patriots up on their offer. The Patriots ProShop uniform exchange is scheduled for July 6 and 7.