Having watched Mr. Kraft on the witness stand in the Aaron Hernandez trial Tuesday, I came away with no earthly reason why he was summoned. I’m as smart as your average lawyer (or, if I’m being completely honest, your well-below average lawyer) so I don’t understand for the life of me how the answers he gave will help prove whether or not Hernandez killed Odin Lloyd.
I suppose to some degree a trial like this is show business. It’s on TV. People are watching it and talking about it. And there’s not a more political animal in the world than a district attorney. So any time they get the chance to sex up a court proceeding by calling to the stand one of the most powerful men in the world, they’re not going to pass that up just because he has nothing pertinent to add to the issue being decided by the jury.
So while I can’t judge whether Mr. Kraft’s testimony helped or hurt Hernandez, I do know one person it did help, and that person is Mr. Kraft.
I am not being snarky here. I’m being completely serious. Let us not forget that it wasn’t all that long ago that the crowd who resents the Patriots’ success, has ripped the Kraft family relentlessly since the day they saved the team from moving to St. Louis and has pushed back against every decision they’ve ever made went so far as to suggest they should have known they had a murderer (alleged) in their midst.
To read the stuff the Legion of Gloom was writing in the aftermath of the killing, you would have thought Mr. Kraft would end up being not just a prosecution witness, but a co-defendant. When he said he’d been “duped” by Hernandez, Rolling Stone called it “arrant nonsense” and suggested the Patriots knew damned well what a homicidal maniac Hernandez was. One author of that piece went so far as to call the owner “guilty by omission.”
The other author was Ron Borges, who pinned it all on the team replacing their security chief Mark Briggs who says, “I’d have known within a half-hour if Hernandez had gotten in trouble with police.” Even though the guy they replaced him with the man who ran security for the completely peaceful and trouble-free London Olympics.
Not to miss a perfect opportunity to demagogue, Dan Shaughnessy, he wrote, “Bob and Jonathan Kraft need to stop trying to make us think that the Patriots are different from all those bad boys in the NFL. … They’ll take a chance on trouble, which apparently is what they did when they drafted Hernandez in 2010.”
Right. Because of course all the pre-draft scouting reports mentioned his 40-time, his route-running and his penchant for multiple homicides. They might as well have been ridin’ dirty in that SUV the night of the murder.
So what do we find out from Mr. Kraft himself, under oath before God and the TV cameras? He hadn’t the first clue what Aaron Hernandez was capable of going all Broken Arrow like he did. And how could he? They had a good owner/employee relationship. Hernandez said and did all the right things. He gave money to Myra Kraft’s memorial foundation, and when the news broke that he may have been involved, he protested his innocence. That’s all anyone in the Patriots organization knew. And frankly it’s all any of the know it all’s and Captain Hindsights who covered Hernandez knew. But, that didn’t stop them from irresponsibly acting like the team should have or even did know.
Though no one should hold their breath waiting for an apology. While none of us think Hernandez is innocent, this simple, undramatic testimony proved that the owner is. Hopefully Hernandez will get the justice he deserves. But, I doubt Mr. Kraft will.
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