In wake of Aaron Hernandez arrest, Patriots to offer free No. 81 jersey exchange
Following the murder arrest of former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez, the team's official merchandise shop will offer a free jersey exchange to any fan who purchased a No. 81 jersey.
The two-day event will begin Saturday, July 6, and customers who purchased a Hernandez jersey from the Patriot ProShop or its online apparel store will be given a new Patriots jersey of comparable value for free.
"We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore," said New England Patriots spokesperson Stacey James on the team's website. "We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player's jersey will be well received by parents."
The Patriots cut ties with Hernandez after he was arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the murder of 27-year-old Odin Lloyd, who was reportedly killed in an execution-like shooting last week in Massachusetts. Lloyd's body was found in an industrial park about a mile from Hernandez's home in Attelborough home.
The former Florida Gator, who signed a 5-year, $41 million extension with New England just last year, has been charged with one count of murder and five gun-related charges. A judge denied bail to Hernandez after prosecutors said at the 23-year-old's arraignment that he "orchestrated the crime from the beginning."
Hernandez has not yet entered a plea. If convicted, he faces life in prison without parole.