Aaron Hernandez was charged with murder and five other related crimes in a Massachusetts court on Wednesday, beginning a new phase in an investigation that has enraptured much of America. Kelvin Taylor and Quinton Dunbar were among the Gators who took to Twitter to send messages related to Hernandez into the ether.
Oh boy. RT @Kelvintaylor21 Free My bro Chico...— Matt Porter (@mattyports) June 26, 2013
Taylor's original tweet has since been deleted, but "Free My bro Chico" — Hernandez has, of course, been lovingly referred to as Chico by Florida players and fans for years — is a bad look, even if Taylor was unaware of the mountain of evidence Massachusetts State Police have compiled.
Dunbar followed up with this piece of expert legal opinion:
No gun no wittiness no case Hernandez will be aight— Quinton Dunbar (@QuintonDunbar1) June 26, 2013
It's also been deleted, but I screencapped it prior to its removal:
While it's technically true that there's no gun, and I certainly didn't hear any wittiness in my hour-plus listening to Hernandez's arraignment, I doubt highly, at this juncture, that he will be all right.
Both players should have taken a cue from Taylor's father, a former teammate of Hernandez's with the Patriots:
Fred Taylor, a Gator alum who played briefly with Hernandez in New England, declines comment on AH situation: "Too delicate."— Matt Porter (@mattyports) June 26, 2013
In this situation, it's understandable that Gators who know and/or care about Hernandez might want to support their friend. But silent or private support is the best way to go: Anything else looks like blind, dumb allegiance to a man who currently looks very much like the primary culprit in a murder.