The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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July 15, 2013

Pro Football Hall of Fame removes photo of Hernandez


CANTON, Ohio —

The Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio, has removed from its pictorial display an award-winning photo of New England Patriot tight end Aaron Hernandez eluding a tackler and scoring a key touchdown during his rookie season in 2010.

Hernandez, 23, was arrested a month ago on first-degree murder charges in the death of an acquaintance and semi-pro football player, Odin Lloyd of Boston. He was dropped by the Patriots upon his arrest, and remains in custody, having twice been denied bail.

Joe Horgan, vice president of communications and exhibits for the hall, said the museum received complaints from visitors about highlighting a player who was under arrest for murder.

"In the spirit of good taste, we thought we'd take it down," said Horgan.

The photo shows Herhandez high-stepping into the end zone, with crumpled defender Sam Shields of the Green Bay Packers in the background. Titled "Thrill and Agony," it  was taken by photographer Mary Schwalm of The Eagle-Tribune, North Andover, Mass., and won the hall's annual Dave Boss Award of Excellence as the best pro football photo of the 2010 season.

The Eagle-Tribune had removed the photo from its sports Facebook page profile picture the day Hernandez was charged with murder.

In the photo, Hernandez is wearing jersey number 85. He switched to number 81 the next season. Earlier this month, the Patriots offered to exchange jerseys with No. 81 and Hernandez' name from fans who had purchased them at the team's pro shop. Hundreds of fans did so.

In another disassociation from Hernanez, EA Sports Madden football announced earlier it had removed the former star tight end's image from its latest version of the video game.


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