Aaron Hernandez

Criticisms of Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

Not Enough Focus

At times, the docu-series felt extremely sporadic. Yes, it was still compelling as they “uncovered” the secrets in Hernandez’ life. Nonetheless, each episode lacked focus. It bounced around too often and didn’t allocate time well. If “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” stuck to its focal points better in each installment, the documentary would improve.

Too Much Speculation and Not Enough Facts

Even though the documentary spanned 200 minutes, many aspects of “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” were shallow. It left viewers wanting more. Again, this was most likely due to the editing and story-line choices. With a better episode-by-episode focus, his story would unfold.

Additionally, Netflix’ access to speakers on the subject were likely very limited. This story involved high school, collegiate and professional football suspicions. Those are accusations against the giants of sports. Because of football’s power, it’s probable that many remained silent. With an underrepresented sources, the story can’t be completely told. For that reason, the docu-series hurt.

Dennis Sansoucie “Star Quarterback”

Speaking of sources, Dennis Sansoucie earned heavy criticism. He’s been called a liar, fake, greedy or just another looking for the spotlight. Coming from Dennis Sansoucie himself, Aaron Hernandez and him were both friends and young lovers. At one point, Sansoucie delcared that he and Hernandez were the two best players on the field. Quarterback and tight end. That point received the most condemnation.

Dennis Sansoucie’s Actual Stats

In his four years of high school, Sansoucie only managed four starts at quarterback. But, each of those starts came at the start of the 2005 season. He was their starting quarterback for four games. In those, he threw 11 touchdowns, nine of which went to Aaron Hernandez. On his short resume, Sansoucie also posted one start with nearly 300 yards (297) and five touchdowns.

Sep. 16, 2005New Britain Golden HurricanesL 23-53   
Sansoucie CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INTHernandez ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
8-221702-031052
Sep. 23, 2005Bloomfield WarhawksW 28-7   
Sansoucie CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INTHernandez ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
7-171012-14892
Sep. 30, 2005South Windor BobcatsW 9-12   
Sansoucie CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INTHernandez ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
13-182975-171643
Oct. 7th, 2005Hartford Public OwlsL 13-39   
Sansoucie CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INTHernandez ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
10-252052-061662
Oct. 16th, 2005Maloney SpartansW 40-13   
Sansoucie CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INTHernandez ReceptionsReceiving YardsTouchdowns
N/AN/AN/A92583
Matt Coyne CompletionsPassing YardsTD-INT   
14-243755-0  

Moreover, additional speculation came out surrounding Sansoucie’s junior season.

This would explain why Dennis Sansoucie felt that he was a star of the team, yet lacked a full season as quarterback. Whether or not this story is true, it gives light into Sansoucie’s reasoning. There are certainly many adults that look back into their high school days with glory. If Sansoucie lost his starting job because of an off-field issue, he would still think of himself as the star.

Strengths of Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez

After its January 15th release, “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” immediately gained popularity and intrigue. The three-part Netflix true crime documentary explores court cases and circumstances that could lead to those.

Overall, it was well received. “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” boasts:

You Can’t Turn it Off

On first watch, “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” is highly entertaining. It’s certainly binge-worthy and captures your attention immediately. We all want to know the whole story. Aaron Hernandez’ psyche is a an enthralling reason. There’s no watching just one episode. Instead, it compels every viewer to watch all three episodes in a row. For that, the Netflix documentary succeeds.

Access to Prison Phone Calls

Without a doubt, the highlight of “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez” is hearing the phone calls from prison. Those phone calls give us a greater insight into Hernandez’ character. They’re personal, private, unfiltered. Viewers hear him talk to his fiance, daughter, mother, agent. It added a layer of realism to the story.

Most Importantly, Aaron Hernandez’ Story Raises Questions and Concerns

Homophobia in Football Culture

In the series, Dennis Sansoucie and Ryan O’Callaghan both discussed the plight of growing up as closeted gay men. Sansoucie talked about his and Hernandez’ fathers as men that would beat the gay out of a kid. And although the documentary speculated that Aaron Hernandez was “gay” instead of acknowledging other sexual orientations like bi-sexuality, it was still an important subject. Mental health is a massive issue in our society. Denying your own identity out of fear would derail anyone.

CTE

It’s the NFL’s biggest Boogie Man: CTE. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. The disease continues to appear in professional football. In a 2017 study published in the medical journal JAMA, the results were shocking. Of the 111 post-mortem brains of former NFL players, 110 had CTE. CTE plagues the well beings of current and former players. It’s symptoms include:

  • Memory Loss
  • Confusion
  • Impaired Judgment
  • Impulse Control Problems
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Parkisonism
  • Progressive Dementia
  • Suicidality

Do any of those symptoms sound like Aaron Hernandez? Completely. Does CTE excuse his actions? Of course not. However, would he be a murder if he didn’t have CTE? That is the million-dollar question. And that’s important not only for the lives of football players, but to the victims of criminal acts by those players.

Yes, the NFL says it’s doing its best to get ahead of this issue. But, as pointed out in this documentary, it starts long before the NFL. Additionally, how often has the league ignored player health and safety?

College and NFL Teams Make Injured Players Play

“My body is so fucked up… They banned that shit from the league saying you can only get that if you have a serious injury,” he said. “Guess who they gave that shit to every fucking game? Me.”

Aaron Hernandez, prison call with his fiance

Fill them up with pills or injections and put them out on the field. It’s a part of the game. Organizations want wins. Players want money. No player wants to be labeled as injury prone or soft. Adding to that, the next man up could always be the replacement. Injured players need to heal. Instead, due to a lack of integrity by teams, they are pushed onto the field to play sports most brutal game.

Football wrecks bodies. It’s a gladiator’s sport. Understanding it’s brutality, coaches and team medical staff need to support players. Player health and safety should be a top concern. But, wins secure jobs for coaches and staff. As a result, players need to play. Irregardless of injury. Why else would teams constantly refer to injuries as a “pain-tolerance” issue?

It becomes an especially-jarring concern when Aaron Hernandez stated that the Patriots gave him Toradol every single game. Again, the case of Aaron Hernandez showed why NFL players deserve better advocates. Whether it is mentoring mental, emotional or physical health, these athletes need help. They shouldn’t have to ask. And they certainly should have to commit suicide before football anwers.

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