Less than two hours after Aaron Hernandez was arrested last Wednesday, the New England Patriots released the 23-year-old tight end and removed his No. 81 jerseys, as well as all memorabilia related to Hernandez, from their online store and the team's pro shop at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots' quick actions to disassociate themselves from Hernandez, since charged with first-degree murder in the killing of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, will continue this upcoming weekend with a jersey exchange program at the team's pro shop that will allow fans to freely trade in their Hernandez jersey for another one of comparable value.
Not all of those who have purchased a Hernandez jersey will take advantage of that program. They may have purchased the jersey at a retail outlet other than the team's online store or pro shop. They may live out of state or will be out of state this weekend, the end of a popular vacation week.
There are some individuals looking to take advantage of Hernandez's jerseys no longer being available for purchase by placing the items on Internet auction sites like eBay, where they have become hot items, reports Billy Baker of the Boston Globe.
According to Baker, John Lamothe, a Patriots fan from Florida, put his jersey on the auction site with the thought that it would maybe fetch $15. The item sold on Sunday for $289. One seller listed their Hernandez jersey with a starting price of 99 cents "because we just want it the *bleep* out of this house". On Monday morning, the jersey had received 36 bids and was up to $207.50.
"I can’t think of any reason why people would want it," said Lynn L’Heureux of Oxford, whose $100 Hernandez jersey was up to $127 on eBay as of Sunday. "They might think it will go up in value later on, and maybe it will, but I’m not interested. I just don’t want it in my possession. I want to use the money to buy a jersey that reflects my pride in the Patriots."
We can't imagine that there would be anyone purchasing a Hernandez jersey with the intent of wearing it at Gillette Stadium this season. Those buying these jerseys are likely collectors looking to sell these memorabilia items for potential sales in the future. We also suspect that Hernandez's No. 85 jerseys, the number he wore during his rookie season before moving to No. 81 when the team acquired Chad Ochocinco from the Cincinnati Bengals, will be worth more down the road.
Hernandez items for sale on eBay are not limited to jerseys. One fan is selling a football that Hernandez autographed. The seller, who placed a giant "X" over Hernandez's signature, is donating 50 percent of the proceeds from the sale to the One Fund Boston.
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