ESPN’s Bob Ley rips Patriots for planned White House visit after Aaron Hernandez suicide

Patriots players celebrate after defeating the Atlanta Falcons in overtime of Super Bowl LI.
(Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images)

The New England Patriots’ visit to the White on Wednesday will continue as scheduled, but one ESPN anchor was bothered by it in wake of former player Aaron Hernandez’s death.

ESPN’s Bob Ley was stunned that the Patriots were pushing ahead with their meeting with President Trump. The veteran anchor ripped the team on “SportsCenter.”

“I am stunned — stunned — that they’re going to go ahead with the ceremony today,” Ley said. “And I understand the focus of football very well, I think, as a civilian, and the pride the Patriots rightfully take in what they’ve achieved with this championship.

“There are two major stories today, unless, God forbid, something else tragic happens on the national scene. They are the Hernandez death of apparent suicide and the Patriots’ visit to the White House. And in light of everything we’ve talked about, they will forever be linked.”


Ley, 62, is the longest-tenured employee at ESPN, having joined the network three days after its inception in 1979.

Hernandez, 27, was found hanging in his prison cell by Massachusetts prison officials early Wednesday morning. The former Patriots tight end recently had been acquitted of two slayings but was serving a life sentence for a murder conviction.

Twitter: @edmgonzalez