A photograph of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez that was in the Pro Football Hall of Fame on display as a contest-winning picture has been removed, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
The photo was taken by Mary Schwalm of the Eagle-Tribune of North Andover, Mass. and shows Hernandez beating Green Bay's Sam Shields in a 2010 contest.
“In the spirit of good taste we thought we’d take it down,” said Joe Horrigan, the hall’s vice president of communication and exhibits.
It is an interesting move by the Pro Football Hall of Fame, with Hernandez in jail in Massachusetts on first degree murder charges in the shooting death of Odin Lloyd.
However, the qualifications for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall has always been solely about a player's accomplishments on the field. While Hernandez doesn't have a bust in Canton – only the contest-winning photo, which would be considered random luck, as it could have been of any player – O.J. Simpson remains enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
And while Simpson was found not guilty, and was already a Hall of Famer at the time of the double-murder, he has not been removed from the Hall.
Also, in five years, the Hall will also likely welcome Ray Lewis, whose own arrest in a double murder in 2000, ended with an obstruction of justice charge and no conviction of anyone for the two men killed in Atlanta.
And while some will rush to say that neither Simpson nor Lewis were found guilty of murder (Simpson was found liable in a civil case), Hernandez hasn't been found guilty yet either, despite mountains of evidence that has been made public.
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Terry McCormick covers the Titans for TitanInsider.com