Yes, there is intense demand for Aaron Hernandez jerseys, which are fetching hundreds of dollars at online auctions despite Hernandez having perhaps killed a dude or three. No, this is not a symbol of the decline of Western civilization.
The Hernandez jerseys, authentics, replicas, and autographed alike, are selling like allegedly murderous hotcakes. The Boston Globe reports the stories of a number of sellers, all of which go pretty much the same.
“I thought about giving it to Goodwill,” [Patriots fan John Lamothe] said, “but I didn’t think anybody would want it.”
So instead, he put it on eBay, the online auction site. “I thought I might get $15 for it,” he said.
On Sunday, it sold for $289.
Lamothe said the person who bought his jersey told him just two things: He had overpaid, and he did not want his wife to know what he had done.
Breathe. This isn't complicated. There will be no more Aaron Hernandez jerseys produced. The Patriots are actively recalling them, offering a free jersey exchange. Supply has been restricted; demand has accordingly gone up. It's not a sign of shitty or disrespectful fans, or a societal indictment. It's high school economics.
Which isn't to say the Patriots and the NFL are happy about this. Despite the exhausting use of the adjective "classy" to describe the jersey trade-in program, it was a PR move. And not just the good PR of rewarding fans who owned Hernandez's jersey; above anything else, it was about avoiding the bad PR of those jerseys showing up at games—which they absolutely would, because some people are stupid. Both the team and the league would like you to forget that an accused murderer ever played for them, and that's easier to accomplish if the Patriots personally destroy as many jerseys as they can get their hands on. The ones remaining, the ones fetching the big money online? They won't leave their vacuum bags; they're investments.