When Aaron Hernandez was being investigated for murder, NFL reporter Ian Rapoport saw an interaction he had with Hernandez years earlier in a whole new light.
The MMQB’s Kalyn Kahler has a piece on Friday speaking with reporters who covered Aaron Hernandez at each stage of his football career. Rapoport, now with NFL Network, was the Patriots beat writer for the Boston Herald when New England selected Hernandez in the 2010 draft.
Shortly after they first met, Hernandez threatened to kill Rapoport. The reporter was initially unsure whether to take Hernandez seriously until Hernandez was suspected of killing Odin Lloyd.
When we first exchanged numbers, he called me over and said, “Hey I just want you to know, you’re my guy. If you need anything let me know, I will help you out if I can. But I just want you to know, if you f--- me over, I’ll kill you.” I sort of laughed a little bit, and I said, “Don’t worry, I got you, I’ll take care of you.” It was me and this other reporter from CBS Sports, William Bendetson, and he was standing there and had listened and we kind of turned to each other and both laughed. And then the first text I got after it became clear that Hernandez was the suspect in the murder investigation was from William Bendetson, who was like, Hey remember that day in the locker room?
Hernandez was convicted in the 2013 murder of Lloyd and sentenced to life in prison without parole. He was found not guilty in the 2012 double murder of Safiro Furtado and Daniel de Abreu last week, just days before hanging himself in his prison cell.