(FOX BOROUGH, Mass.) — New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft finally spoke to a select number of reporters to discuss the murder charges facing former tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Against advice from his legal counsel, Kraft took the time to address the issue and his personal feelings on the matter. Kraft couldn’t get into specifics because of the ongoing investigation, but he did his feelings regarding the circumstances.
“If this stuff is true, then I’ve been duped and our whole organization has been duped,” he said.
Hernandez was recently charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd, who was a semi-professional football player. About an hour following his arrest, the team released him.
“The rationale behind that decision was that if any member of the New England Patriots organization is close enough to a murder investigation to actually get arrested — whether it be for obstruction or justice or the crime itself, it is too close to an unthinkable act for that person to be part of this organization going forward,” Kraft explained.
In his three years with the Patriots, Hernandez was an emerging star in the NFL. He was one the team’s most popular players and was one of Tom Brady’s go-to targets.
There were concerns over Hernandez’ character when coming out of Florida prior to the 2010 draft. The team decided to take a chance on him when they selected him with a fourth-round pick. He had been so productive and was not a problem in the locker room, so the team rewarded him with a $40 million contract extension.
The Patriots recently held an Aaron Hernandez jersey exchange event at Gillette Stadium. Fans who bought Hernandez jerseys at the team’s pro shop had the opportunity to exchange their jerseys for new ones. Over 2,500 Hernandez jerseys were exchanged.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
John Newsome and Anne Woolsey, CNN