What's behind Aaron Hernandez's fall from grace?

June 26, 2013, 10:35 pm
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(NECN: Greg Wayland) - What in the world happened to Aaron Hernandez? A $40 million athlete with enormous gifts and seemingly a ton of gratitude for opportunities given and taken?

"You have to look at it in a context that's larger than sports," says Dan Liebowitz, though sports is his specialty as exececutive director of the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University.

"Maybe there's a leadership question that we have to ask here about the way we acculturate boys, the way we educate people in the sports realm as well as other realms, from youth sports on up," Liebowitz says.

But a troubling statistic is that 27 NFL players have been arrested since the Superbowl on Feb. 3.

Could the culture of professional football have anything to do with it? Liebowitz isn't ready to draw that conclusion.

"I think that if you look at the NFL and you think of maybe 90 guys on an active roster plus a practice squad roster, maybe you're talking a 180 guys a team, maybe you're talking 30 teams, you're looking at 6,000 athletes and 27 of them have been in trouble with the law and arrested since the superbowl," he says.

Liebowitz adds, "You know, we live in a culture that sort of glorifies violence in many respects and glorifies celebrity and this is sort of the apex of the two, I'd hate to indict the entire NFL."

So is the fault not in our NFL stars, but in ourselves? Something to think about at this bad moment for sports and society.

Tags: Greg Wayland, Aaron Hernandez, Aaron Hernandez murder case, Dan Liebowitz
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