ESPN's Howard Bryant Goes After Bill Belichick and Tom Brady for Not Speaking Enough About Aaron Hernandez

By Jason Lisk

Howard Bryant went all in against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady yesterday for not speaking enough, or to Bryant’s liking, about Aaron Hernandez. He chided Brady for offering quotes to Peter King about focusing on the team and winning, and criticized Bill Belichick for not cutting short a vacation and providing non-quotes about Hernandez during that wild period when the investigation was ongoing.

I mean, there are some things that you can criticize, but it seems that Bryant is putting absurd and ridiculous expectations on two guys he must have an issue with. What exactly is Brady going to say? Brady also offered this when speaking at the first day of camp:

"“It’s a terrible thing that happened. Look, in the city of Boston this year, what happened in the marathon, these are very terrible things that you wish never happen to anybody. There’s a very human, compassionate element that we all have, and when it’s someone that’s been on our team, it’s a very sad thing. I think that we, as a team, have tried to move forward with better awareness and understanding of these types of things. Hopefully, nothing like this happens again.”"

Brady is a quarterback who is paid well to throw passes, live in big mansions, get married to supermodels and occasionally wear funny hats. He is not going to enlighten us on the nature of crime and punishment. Howard on Brady and Belichick:

"Teams bathe in the fiction that they value character, can spot it and develop it; yet here, when character actually mattered, the great coach and his legendary quarterback looked as small as a hash mark. Had Hernandez saved a toddler from drowning instead of allegedly putting a bullet into a friend, the Patriots would have claimed him. The hero machine would have churned, applauding itself for giving the poor kid from the tough background a chance, first to take credit for the sunshine."

Hmmm, seems like the flogging of straw men. Do teams try to promote good charitable activities to try to garner public relations in the community? Sure, they may encourage it as any high profile member of a community does. Have I ever heard that a player had increased character because they played for a team? No. Do you remember hearing about Titans rookie Jonathan Willard pulling a family from a burning car? I don’t remember any insinuation that the Titans themselves were responsible, that they somehow imbued him with the requisite fortitude for such an act. The team was only mentioned in identification. It was a story because he happened to be a public figure with a football team. Players are people, the best and the worst of us. Writers are too.

[photo via USA Today Sports Images]

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Related: Bill Belichick Addressed the Media, While Aaron Hernandez Appeared in Court for First Time Since June