After news broke that Aaron Hernandez had apparently hanged himself in his jail cell Wednesday morning, people with merchandise signed by the former New England Patriots star, or bearing his name, swiftly took to eBay to off-load their goods.
“I’m never going to wear it and figured I might as well make some money from it,” one online seller, who is trying to get rid of a white Hernandez jersey, told the Globe. “And frankly, I can’t stand having it in my house.”
Several people messaged by the Globe confirmed that they had listed items for sale online, such as miniature helmets with Hernandez’s autograph, store-bought jerseys, and cards, specifically because of his death.
Hernandez, who was serving life without parole for killing Odin L. Lloyd, hanged himself at the state’s maximum security prison in Shirley, according to officials. His death came five days after Hernandez was acquitted of two additional murders.
As much of New England — and the nation — reacted to his sudden death, “newly listed” items featuring Hernandez seemed to flood eBay.
One person put a signed Topps “Game Day” card up for sale, saying people “definitely will buy it because of his death.”
“There are collectors that collect because they have died or recently sent to prison,” the person said in a message to the Globe. “I posted two cards and a signed mini helmet a short while ago.”
Jeff D’Antonio, of Danvers, said he put five signed Hernandez cards on eBay “after hearing of his death,” including one that was listed for $1,500.
“I bought them after he got locked up,” he said. “And now I’m ready to sell them, now that’s he no longer alive.”
Another seller is offering interested buyers a blue Hernandez jersey, an item that had been listed for sale twice in the past but was again put out to bid Wednesday because “obviously [there is an] increased interest [in] this listing.”
Officials from eBay did not immediately return a request for comment.
Other listings included a blue Florida Gators jersey like the one worn by Hernandez when he played for the college team; a “practice worn” Patriots t-shirt; a signed football; and game worn cleats.
If you or someone you know is having thoughts of suicide, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.Steve Annear can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.