Ron Borges: ‘Very Possible Robert Kraft Was Duped By Aaron Hernandez’
Boston Herald columnist Ron Borges appeared on The John Feinstein Show on Thursday to discuss the Rolling Stone piece he co-wrote with Paul Solotaroff on Aaron Hernandez.
“It was a very sad story to report,” Borges said. “Just sort of way this very gifted guy – through an assortment of circumstances and bad choices – allowed his life (to get to the point where) he’s locked up 21 hours a day in a cell in Massachusetts.”
The story shed light on Hernandez’s past – from childhood to murder charges.
“You can see how one incident and happening in your life, in and of itself, is maybe not the biggest thing in the world,” Borges said. “But one builds upon another.”
Hernandez’s mother, Terri, reportedly cheated on her husband, Dennis, just before his death with a well-known drug dealer, Jeffrey Cummings. After Dennis died, Cummings reportedly moved in with Terri – a far from ideal situation for Hernandez, who was still in high school at the time.
Hernandez’s troubles continued at the University of Florida and with the New England Patriots, where Urban Meyer and Bill Belichick reportedly kept Hernandez’s exploits out of the public eye as much as possible. Both men, particularly Meyer, have been criticized for enabling Hernandez.
Borges isn’t buying it.
“In the end, you’re responsible for the actions you take yourself,” Borges said. “I’ve been asked this a lot in the last couple of days: who should be held responsible for what happened? Well, the guys who were in that vacant lot at 3 in the morning, that’s who. Not the Patriots, not Bill Belichick, not Robert Kraft, not the NFL, not pro football. In the end, it was a choice they made.”
To be fair, Meyer and Belichick – if they did cover things up – did what virtually any coach would have done in that situation.
“To a great extent, all coaches are trapped in the same conundrum,” Borges said. “If you’re a college coach and you have a 97 percent gradation rate and you went 3-11, you get fired. If you’re 11-1 and you had a two percent graduation rate, they give you a new contract.”
It’s the same thing in the NFL. As one anonymous assistant coach once told Borges, “We’re all whores for talent.”
“I think Belichick was trying to protect a team investment,” Borges said, “which is his job.”
Kraft, meanwhile, said that if all of the allegations surrounding Hernandez are true, then he – Kraft – was duped, and so was his entire organization.
“I think it’s very possible he was duped,” Borges said. “He’s (72) years old; he’s not involved in all the minutiae, and he pays Belichick $7 million a year to run the whole thing.”
Plus, it was reported that Hernandez was always very obsequious around Kraft, very respectful.
“If that’s your relationship with the guy, you’re not going to see anything that would indicate any problem – and the guy’s playing great so you come away saying, ‘I feel duped,’” Borges said. “I think where he went too far is when he said, ‘and my entire organization was duped,’ because I don’t think that was the case.”