- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Luke MacGregor)
New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft said Monday that his sports organization might have to review old procedures following the arrest of former tight end Aaron Hernandez.
After weeks of silence, Kraft said in a recent statement that he had no knowledge of Aaron Hernandez's criminal past prior to his arrest. Describing Hernandez as a "most likeable young man" he admitted that the team's organization might have to make some procedural changes in the near future.
Without acknowledging whether he believer Hernandez, who faces charges for first degree murder, was guilty or not- Kraft suggested that the former tight end had kept his past a secret. Kraft said, "if this stuff is true, then I've been duped and our whole organization has been duped," according to Sports Illustrated.
Kraft also admitted that the organization was partially at fault, stating that the team had "made a mistake and are facing it head on." To prevent future issues he added that the team would "renew efforts and look at procedures."
Hernandez is charged with killing 27-year-old Odin Lloyd. In addition to first-degree murder charges he also faces five counts related to firearms. The New England Patriots released Hernandez just days before his arrest. The arrest occurred about a week after police began searching the area near Hernandez's home. Kraft shared his sympathies with Lloyd's family.
"My heart goes out to the Lloyd family," he said. "I feel bad that someone connected to our organization is connected to this."
Since his arrest, Hernandez has been linked to other fights involving firearms. In once incident, he was accused of bursting a waiter's eardrum after being thrown out of a restaurant where Tim Tebow was also dining. Hernandez's name has also come up in a second investigation surrounding an unsolved double homicide that took place in Boston last year.