While many countries in the world allow for freedom of speech, what is shared on social media tends to be misconstrued and counted as gospel. Especially with all kinds of camera feautures and websites paying top dollar for the next controversial photo of a celebrity athlete.
Take last Saturday's birthday celebration by Mike Pouncey and his Maurkice. Both brothers could be seen wearing black and red hats that had block lettering saying "Free Hernandez." Not only was the hat viewed by many as controversial and done in poor choice, both Pouncey brothers have been villified by some fans and the print media.
While it can be assumed that the Pouncey twins are good friends with Aaron Hernandez from their days at the University of Florida, they made a statement of solidarity. The statement is controversial and both brothers are in the middle of conversations with their respective teams on what they should say to their teammates and fans.
The reason for this controversy is not new to the media who immediately engulfed Aaron Hernandez's home as soon as word leaked out of a murder near his home in June. For over a week, the media held their own trial of Hernandez based on the alleged facts of the case.
Now that the facts have been shared by the prosecution with the media, Aaron Hernandez has been erased from the record books and images by the NFL and promptly dropped by the Patriots before being charged with murder.
As far as the Pouncey twins showing their support and making a statement, they should at least apologize for the poor timing or poor choice of venue to display their solidarity and care for their own friend. The Dolphins and Steelers are classy franchises that intend to uphold their own set of rules with consequences.
As it stands, Hernandez awaits a trial and his friends, because it is clear he has many in the NFL wait as well.
Don't be surprised if more NFL players speak on behalf of Aaron Hernandez despite the unpopular stance as the trial begins a year from now. Even though the case is stacked against Aaron Hernandez, NFL players have the liberty to speak positively about Aaron Hernandez as the person that they knew and believed in.
Prison can be a lonely place and Aaron Hernandez does have a right to have supporters, even if it is viewed as controversial. It might be hard for the media to come around on this idea of "caring" for those who are encarcerated because they themselves get paid to cover sports and everything that comes with it.