Aaron Hernandez Reportedly Wanted To Be A Cheerleader But His ‘Deeply Homophobic’ Dad Wouldn’t Accept It
In arguably the most intimate portrayal of Aaron Hernandez is circulation, the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team attempted to uncover the possible motivations behind his downfall, reaching as far back to his rocky childhood in Bristol, Connecticut.
The Globe piece focuses extensively on Hernandez’s father, Dennis, nicknamed The King, who often beat and brutalized Aaron and his older brother, Jonathan. Dennis was a former football star at the high school his son’s would later shatter records at and worked as the school’s janitor before passing away during Aaron’s junior year due to complications with a routine hernia surgery.
When Aaron was just 8 years old, Dennis punched his youth tackle football coach, Tim SanSoucie, in the face over a simple disagreement with strategy. SanSoucie’s son, also named Dennis, eventually became the quarterback who tossed Hernandez his 67 completions for a total of 1,807 yards his junior year, a Connecticut high school record.
For the first time publicly, Dennie SanSoucie admitted to having a sexual relationship with Hernandez beginning in middle school and lasting through high school.
“Me and him were very much into trying to hide what we were doing. We didn’t want people to know,” Dennis SanSoucie said in an interview.
SanSoucie claims the two worked hard to hide their relationship, especially seeing as it would have created mayhem at home.
Dennis Hernandez had long had concerns that Aaron, as a boy, had a feminine way about him — the way he stood or used his hands, his brother said. He also remembered one of Aaron’s early ambitions that sent their father over the edge.
“I remember he wanted to be a cheerleader. My cousins were cheerleaders and amazing,” Jonathan said. “And I remember coming home and like my dad put an end to that really quick. And it was not OK. My dad made it clear that … he had his definition of a man.”
The home environment, in general, was deeply homophobic.
‘Faggot’ was used all the time in our house,” Jonathan said. “All the time. Standing. Talking. Acting. Looking. It was the furthest thing my father wanted you to even look like in our household. This was not acceptable to him.”
Repressed sexuality is just one of the many hardships Aaron faced growing up that likely contributed to his sad demise–alleged sexual abuse as a child, the fragmented relationship with his mother after his father died, and severe CTE round out the rest. To read the entire piece, head over to The Boston Globe.