SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP/AP) - Aaron Hernandez is the most talked-about athlete in the country right now, but is there still a market for his merchandise?
22News went to Sportstuff on Sumner Avenue in Springfield Friday to find out what the effect of the former tight end's murder arrest has had on demand for number 81's replica jerseys and other apparel.
Store owner David Trehey told 22News that they haven't carried Hernandez merchandise since last year, but there has also been silence on the part of customers about finding it now. He said no one has come in or called looking for products associated with the player.
"The silence has been what the answer has been. People don't want to talk about it, they're completely disgusted with the whole situation. They can't believe it's happening to a New England team," he said.
Trehey said that Hernandez merchandise never sold as well as apparel for players like Tom Brady or Rob Gronkowski, and once last year's supply of Aaron Hernandez jerseys ran out, they didn't order any more.
The New England Patriots are offering a new jersey to all fans who want to get rid of the one they bought with Aaron Hernandez's name on it.
The team has released him and taken all Hernandez jerseys off the shelf at its souvenir store at Gillette Stadium.
The team says fans can come to their store at the stadium on the weekend of July 6-7 for a free jersey of comparable value.
Patriots spokesman Stacey James says children may not understand why their parents won't want them wearing their Hernandez jersey.
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