As hard it was to believe that Aaron Hernandez committed suicide on April 19, 2017, it’s even more crazy that it’s actually been three years since that happened.
It’s even harder to grasp for former teammates of the tight end back during his Florida gators days. One of them spoke out about it his former friend who once had the potential to go down as one of the greatest at his position.
“I think of Aaron almost every day at some point,” says a former teammate from the University of Florida. “He crosses my mind all the time, and I talk about him with other guys from the team. We just can’t figure out what happened. We just can’t wrap our minds around his downfall.”
That same teammate also spoke on Hernandez’s much talked about sexuality.
“Everything about Aaron was a struggle,” the teammate says. “He had these really angry outbursts a lot, over insignificant things. And when he started, he couldn’t stop.”
The teammate tells PEOPLE that Hernandez also struggled with his sexuality, despite his long-term relationship with Jenkins. During his life, he had romantic relationships with both men and women.
“He wanted to be the big man on campus who was having sex with a lot of women, but then he’d find guys on the down low,” the teammate says. “The girls were public, the guys were not. It wasn’t his only struggle, but it was a struggle for a guy like Aaron.”
Three years after Hernandez’s death, those who knew him will commemorate the day — while not condoning the behavior that resulted in his prison sentence.
“I look at the things Aaron did and they make me sad,” says the teammate. “He did a lot of things that should not be celebrated in any way. But he was a man who many people loved, and on that level, he should be remembered. Everyone can learn from his mistakes; that’s the way to make sure that his life wasn’t in vain.”
Aaron Hernandez was just 27-years-old when he was found dead in his prison cell after hanging himself with a bedsheet, just days after he was found not guilty of the fatal drive-by shootings of Daniel Jorge Correia de Abreu and Safiro Teixeira Furtado.
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