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Aaron Hernandez’s Fiancée Sues the New England Patriots, NFL Over Death

Aaron Hernandez’s fiancée, who now goes by the name of Shayanna Jenkins-Hernandez, filed a lawsuit against the New England Patriots and the NFL on behalf of the daughter she shared with the late tight end.

The legal brief did not name Hernandez’s angel dust dealer as a defendant.

The federal lawsuit alleges that the league and its reigning champions remained “fully aware of the damage that could be inflicted from repetitive impact injuries and failed to disclose, treat or protect him from the dangers of such damage.”

But the athlete, who entered the league in 2010, began his professional career years after other players received posthumous diagnoses of chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), knew the risks, too.

Four years ago, I wrote that “CTE threatens to supplant celebrity as an athlete’s get-out-of-jail-free card” regarding the Aaron Hernandez murder case. Even then, writers speculated that neither drugs nor a tainted soul caused the talented athlete to kill. CTE did.

But Hernandez, convicted of killing friend and fellow football player Odin Lloyd and acquitted in killing two other men outside a Boston bar, became a suspect in a Florida shooting of two males long before he joined the National Football League. The victims described the gunman as either Hispanic or Hawaiian who stood around six-foot-three or six-foot-four, weighed near 230 or 240 pounds, and sported numerous tattoos.

Sound like anyone you know?

The litigation evokes the courtroom money grab pursued by Jovan Belcher’s mother against the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL after the linebacker murdered his girlfriend and then himself. When news hit that Belcher’s family exhumed his body a year after his death from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head in order to find a CTE diagnosis, one prominent brain scientist told Breitbart Sports that “if the brain is sent to Boston, CTE will be identified regardless of what shape it is in.”

Belcher’s brain wasn’t sent to Boston University. But Hernandez’s was. And BU, as its celebrity doctors usually do, diagnosed his brain with CTE. And then his family filed a lawsuit.

Notice a pattern?

Hernandez hung himself on the anniversary of Patriots’ Day earlier this year. But don’t hold him responsible for killing himself, or his friend, or those two immigrants minding their own business. Aaron Hernandez did not do it. Football did.

Twenty million reasons led his fiancée to this conclusion.

Daniel J. Flynn

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