The photo you see above was obviously not taken on Sunday afternoon when the Patriots beat the Jaguars to advance to Super Bowl LII. The photo, which features the late Aaron Hernandez attempting to recover a fumble, was taken way back in August 2011 during a New England preseason game against Jacksonville. It was captured almost two full years before Hernandez was first accused of killing his former friend Odin Lloyd and nearly six years before Hernandez committed suicide while serving a life sentence for Lloyd's murder.
So why has the old photo suddenly resurfaced over the course of the last 24 hours? Well, on Sunday night, the Boston TV station WCVB made the boneheaded decision to include the Hernandez photo in a tweet about the Patriots' win over the Jaguars. It was sent out along with a link to a story about the Patriots making yet another trip to the Super Bowl.
As you might expect, it didn’t take very long for people to spot the egregious error made by WCVB. People responded to their decision to include the Hernandez photo in their tweet with some variation of "WYD, GUYS?"
To make matters worse, WCVB also didn’t offer up a very good explanation for how in the world they ended up sending out an old Hernandez photo in the first place. They called the mistake "embarrassing and unacceptable" while putting the blame on "a news service that provides WCVB some digital content."
No matter who is to blame here, sending an Aaron Hernandez photo out in a celebratory tweet is just dumb, and WCVB deserved the subsequent backlash that came their way. Outside of the fact that the photo came across as insensitive to many viewers, it also made it seem like the station has no idea what they’re doing when it comes to covering sports.