We tend to search for the good in people after they pass away, often showering them with positive platitudes under the tenet of respecting the dead. It becomes difficult when the life lost also was responsible for taking another, and ruining many more, as was the case of Aaron Hernandez.
The former Patriots tight end didn't lose his life Tuesday so much as throw away his life before he was found hanging in his prison cell. Hernandez, 27, in the slammer for life without parole for killing Odin Lloyd four years ago, should be remembered as little more than a murderer.
He was given every chance to live clean but veered down a path that led to his downfall. He chose to be a cold, calculating, ruthless, selfish, immature, pathetic human being. If anything, he was worse than most murderers because he had an opportunity to make a positive impact on the world.
Hernandez's story is disheartening, indeed. His family and friends are in mourning. But he doesn't deserve sympathy. If there's anything sad about his death, it's that the best thing you could say about Aaron Hernandez in life was that he was a great football player.