“I don’t want it.. Just keep the jersey. Take the name [Hernandez] off the back and give it to someone who needs it. If there’s a kid out there that doesn’t have a shirt to wear, give it to him.” – Patriots fan
All Saturday the NFL Patriots ProShop in Gillette Stadium were accepting all returns & exchanges on the Aaron Hernandez, No. 81 jersey. Since Hernandez’ arrest and impending investigation for murder, fans are not excited to wear the jersey of a convicted man at this point.
The Patriots announced they would offer a free jersey exchange for any Hernandez jersey purchased at the ProShop or online. Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and Vince Wilfork authentic Reebok jerseys were available, and another eight replica player jerseys were in stock as well. Fans began lining up outside the store before 8:00 a.m. There were more than 100 people by the time the doors opened at 9:30 a.m. After a brief inspection of their Hernandez jerseys outside, fans were given vouchers to use in the shop.
The Patriots said that almost 1,200 Hernandez jerseys were exchanged by 5 p.m., and 300 were youth size. Wilfork’s jersey was the most popular, followed by Brady, defensive lineman Chandler Jones, and running back Stevan Ridley. The organization hopes to find a way to recycle the Hernandez jerseys into another product, but if that can’t be done they will be destroyed.
See video below of fans returning the Jersey: