1,200 Patriots Fans Give Back Hernandez Jerseys - ABC6 - Providence, RI and New Bedford, MA News, Weather

1,200 Patriots Fans Give Back Hernandez Jerseys

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By Dana Griffin

dgriffin@abc6.com

FOXBORO, MA- New England Patriot fans traded in their #81 Hernandez jerseys for brand new ones during a jersey exchange at the ProShop.

Some fans were more than happy to make the trade, while others were a little indecisive; all because of a murder involving one of New England's star football players..

From the Super Bowl to the slammer; accused murderer, and now former Patriot, Aaron Hernandez is being erased from the team.

This weekend, the Gillette Stadium ProShop will exchange #81 or #85 Hernandez-eligible jerseys either bought from the store or online, for free.

"I feel that he didn't follow the Patriot way and that's important and I support the team and I think this is great that the organization is doing this and I'm taking advantage of it," said Patriot's fan, Rodney Gonsalves.

Janice Parlon exchanged a jersey for her nephew.

"I think my nephew felt that he couldn't or didn't feel comfortable wearing his shirt or could proudly wear it," said Parlon.

But not every trade–in was an easy decision. Providence resident, Victoria Castle was brought to tears after her exchange.

"I'm thinking that he's probably gonna be found guilty and he's not getting out of prison. He'll be there for life for murder and there's no point in keeping a jersey that you're never gonna wear again. So yeah, it's been a emotional day," Castle said.

Inside the ProShop, Andrew Lucas held on tightly to his #81.

Lucas said, "I don't know; it's tough. It's tough to let it go. I was a fan of him for so long and clearly I'm not a fan of him anymore and what he did. I don't condone it but it's just tough, it's just tough to let it go."

By 11AM, more than 500-Hernandez jerseys were exchanged. The top three trades were for Wilfork, Brady, and Jones.

Castle adds, "He just threw it all away and he had fans out there that really appreciated him and knew how much talent he had. "

The number of collected jerseys has since increased to nearly 12–hundred. The New England Patriot's spokesperson says they are still deciding exactly how those jerseys will be destroyed or recycled.

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