Not only are the New England Patriots offering to exchange out Aaron Hernandez No. 81 jerseys, they are encouraging it.
The Patriots' official website on Friday led with a banner reading: "PARENTS ENCOURAGED TO EXCHANGE #81 JERSEYS."
Hernandez is being held in jail on charges of first-degree murder. He has pleaded innocent. The team has released him and taken all Hernandez jerseys off the shelf at its souvenir store at Gillette Stadium.
The team says fans can come to their store at the stadium on the weekend of July 6-7 for a free jersey of comparable value.
"We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don't want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore," Patiots spokeswoman Stacey James said. "We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player's jersey will be well received by parents."