When news cameras zoomed in on Aaron Hernandez’s cuffed hands when he was arraigned on June 26, the public began further speculating that the former New England Patriots star was gang-affiliated. On his right hand was the word, ”BLOOD,” written in red ink. While that may not be the telltale sign that Hernandez was a member of the famed “Bloods” gang (it appears that ‘Blood’ may be followed by ‘Sweat’ and ‘Tears’ on his hand), there have been plenty of other tidbits that have come out regarding Hernandez’s affiliation or non-affiliation.
Rapper Snoop Dogg, who has been linked to the crips gang in the past, sent out an instagram Saturday that read, "Keep ya head up !! We prayn 4 ya (sic)" with the above photo.
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Rapper The Game was asked by TMZ to speak on Hernandez’s possible affiliation to the Bloods and dismissed the thought:
“Aaron Hernandez ain’t no Blood man … n***a killed his sister’s husband, what the f***?”
Hernandez was wearing red shorts, the color of the Bloods, the day he was arrested and arraigned. He has also worn red in the past while flashing gang signs.
While the two most prominent gangs in the US began on the West Coast, specifically, in Southern California, affiliation has spread East and gang signs have been flashed by major pro athletes in the past.
In 2008, then-Celtics star Paul Pierce was fined $25,000 by the league for flashing what many believed to be the “Piru Blood gang sign” in the direction of Atlanta Hawks center Al Horford. Pierce denied the sign was gang related and instead meant, "Blood, Sweat, Tears."
Pierce was nearly stabbed to death in Boston in 2000 and the incident was believed to be, at the time, gang related. It is still unknown if the incident was related in any way to gang warfare.
The man arrested for allegedly stabbing Pierce in the 2000 incident, Trevor Watson, was convicted of attempted murder in a separate crime in which he stabbed a DEA informant. Watson was acquitted in regards to the Pierce incident when several witnesses changed their testimony.