- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The New England Patriots wasted no time when they released star tight end Aaron Hernandez less than two hours after his arrest on Wednesday. Now, the Patriots are making it clear they do not want to see Hernandez jerseys at Gillette Stadium this upcoming season, either.
New England announced Friday that the team is offering a free jersey exchange for fans who own Hernandez jerseys. The will offer a swap for any Patriots jersey of equal value at the Pro Shop at Gillette Stadium on July 6-7.
"We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore," Patriots spokesman Stacey James said in a statement. "We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots Pro Shop for another player's jersey will be well received by parents."
This is a smart move by the Patriots. It's a service to their fans, because most would not wear Hernandez’s jerseys this fall while he's facing a murder change and five additional gun charges. It's also a service to the Patriots, because it’s another way to try to quickly move on from their association with Hernandez, who played in New England the past three seasons.