The owner of the New England Patriots, Robert Kraft, has finally broken his silence on his former player Aaron Hernandez. Kraft has been away on business in Europe while the Hernandez-saga has raged on. The former Patriot tight-end is charged with the first-degree murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. Kraft gave an interview to reporters from the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, and ESPN.com.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. Hernandez Was a “Most Likable Young Man”
He described Hernandez as a “most likable young man.” Kraft spoke of Hernandez’s politeness when dealing with members of staff around the Patriots organization, saying:
When he was in our building, we never saw anything where he was not polite. He was always respectful to me. We only know what’s going on inside the building. We don’t put private eyes on people.
2. The Patriots Were Warned About Hernandez Alleged Marijuana Use
He disclosed a letter he received from the University of Florida which detailed allegations about Hernandez’s marijuana use. Kraft said he came to an agreement with the tight-end that he would undergo bi-weekly drug tests during his rookie season, and that Hernandez would pick up the tab for the tests.
3. The Scandal Will Change the Way the Patriots Do Business
Kraft said his organization said, “If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped.” He added that his organization “…will renew efforts and look at procedures.”
4. Kraft Gave His Condolences to Odin Lloyd’s Family
He extended his condolences to the family of Odin Lloyd, saying, “My heart goes out to the Lloyd family, I feel bad that someone connected to our organization is connected to this.”
It’s still possible that Odin Lloyd’s family could potentially sue the Patriots and the NFL for not monitoring Hernandez adequately while he was an employee.
5. The Hernandez Jersey-Swap Cost the Organization $250,000
Kraft said that the jersey exchange that the Patriots did whereby fans could exchange Hernandez jerseys for any other jersey was a success and that it cost the organization $250,000. According to TMZ, the most requested replacement for the No.81 shirt was defensive tackle Vince Wilfork. Tom Brady’s jersey came in second and new signing Tim Tebow’s jersey wasn’t in the top five.