Back in 2013, the tight end for the Patriots was arrested in connection to the murder of his fiancee's sister's boyfriend, Odin Lloyd. In 2015, he was convicted for the murder of Odin Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison. According to Newsweek, Lloyd had called Hernandez what he interpreted to be a gay slur and Hernandez feared Lloyd would out him as a bisexual. In 2017, he was also charged in a separate double homicide case but was acquitted of those charges. After the acquittal, the rumors of his bisexuality were discussed and even joked about with The Kirk & Callahan Show going as far as saying he was a "tight end on and off the field" who "became a wide receiver." Several days afterwards, he was found dead in his prison cell; the death ruled a suicide.
In his lawyer's new book, Unnecessary Roughness, Jose Baez discusses how Hernandez opened up about his affair with a man just before he killed himself. Baez said that as they were discussing their strategy, Hernandez broke down crying out of fear that his fiancee, Shayanna Jenkins, would find out about this relationship with a man. On the topic, Hernandez said:
"She'll be devastated. I never meant to hurt her. I know I keep disappointing her. But she is my soul. She is all I have and will ever have."
Baez said that he seemed hopeful so the next day he talked to Jenkins. He said she was not shaken but he "could see the betrayal in her face." Jenkins wrote the forward for Baez's book and said she had no idea Hernandez was "gay or homosexual." She wrote:
"There has been much speculation about Aaron's sexuality since his death. I can say this: Aaron was very much a man to me. I saw no indication that he was gay or homosexual. I wish I had known how he felt, just so we could have talked about it. I wouldn't have disowned him. I would have been supportive. I can't fault him if he was feeling that way."
It is understandable that Hernandez would have wanted to remain in the closet given his place in American sports and in an overall hyper-masculine environment. Another one of Hernandez's lawyers said "I think he also came out of a culture that was so negative about gay people that he exhibited some self-hatred." reminding us that in the end, inner-homophobia can be as dangerous as outward homophobia.
h/t: lgbtqnation.com, oxygen.com