A photo of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez high-stepping into the end zone against the Green Bay Packers has been removed from the walls of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Tom Reed of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer reports.
"In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down," said Joe Horrigan, the Hall of Fame's vice president of communication and exhibits.
The photograph was taken by Mary Schwalm of the Eagle-Tribune in North Andover, Mass. Schwalm's photo. Entitled "Thrill and Agony", the photo was selected for the Dave Boss Award of Excellence and was the "Photograph of the Year" for the 2010 NFL season.
The removal of Hernandez's photo from the Hall of Fame is the latest step by the NFL and the Patriots to disassociate themselves from Hernandez, who is charged with first-degree murder in the June 17 killing of Odin Lloyd, a 27-year-old semi-pro football player from Dorchester, Mass.
Less than two hours after Hernandez was arrested, the Patriots released the 23-year-old tight end, who less than a year earlier had signed a five-year, $37.5 million contract extension that included $16 million in guaranteed money.
Last weekend, the Patriots held a two-day jersey exchange at the team's pro shop at Gillette Stadium. Despite the event occurring over a holiday weekend, the Patriots exchanged over 2,500 jerseys, a program that owner Robert Kraft says cost the team $250,000.