Fox News columnist Jason Whitlock stirred up controversy with one of his recent pieces, which claims that Jay Z is somehow responsible for the alleged criminal actions of Aaron Hernandez. He argues that poisonous Hollywood culture has overtaken athletic culture in sports, and sent our beloved sporting pastimes to derailment.


“Al Capone is a bigger deal than Babe Ruth. Aaron Hernandez is a reflection of where we are as a society,” writes Whitlock. “Like Allen Iverson and an endless plethora of fatherless and directionless modern athletes since the end of Michael Jordan’s reign, Hernandez saw his athletic gifts as a platform to represent where he was from, not where he hoped to go. He repaid the 860. He kept it real. He stayed true to his boyz from the ‘hood. He mimicked the mindset of the pop-culture icons we celebrate today. Jay Z is the new gold standard. The whole sports world played along with Jigga Man’s charade of NBA ownership. Now Kevin Durant and other athletes are flocking to Hova’s sports agency. An unrepentant, flamboyant former drug dealer has the White House, President Obama-stamped seal of approval…Rappers and musicians are rebels. They look normal in prison tattoos and white Ts. We can no longer distinguish bad from good. We no longer even aspire to be good; it has considerably less value. That’s what Aaron Hernandez represents, to me.” ..



“First the Fat Boys break up, now everytime I wake up, somebody’s got a problem with Hov.”  

Jay Z couldn’t have less ties to the Aaron Hernandez murder case, yet he’s somehow involved, according to the mental musings of a Fox Sports columnists. Hernandez, a former New England Patriots tight end, is charged with the murder of a friend, Odin Lloyd, and is now locked up in a Massachusetts prison. Despite mounting evidence of guilt including surveillance footage showing him holding the possible gun used to kill Lloyd, authorities have not found the murder weapon.

In a piece titled “Hernandez Case Was a Matter of Time,” writer Jason Whitlock theorizes that the ex-NFL player was always headed down a road of destruction and Hov’s music helped him get there. “Jay Z, a rapper who glorifies his former life as a drug dealer, has far more culture influence than LeBron James,” Whitlock writes. “Jay Z is the generations Joe D [DiMaggio] and Beyoncé is Marilyn Monroe.”

Whitlock goes on to call Hernandez a “reflection of where we are as a society,” because he “stayed true to his boyz from the hood.” In short, the 23-year-old athlete isn’t necessarily to blame for his violent actions, he was just trying to follow the Tony Soprano-esque footsteps of his peers. (Whitlock names Allen Iverson along with “an endless plethora of fatherless and direction-less modern athletes since the end of Michael Jordan’s reign.”)

Unfortunately, the argument lacks originality. Jay has gotten heat over his music and alleged glorification of drug dealing many times before, and hip hop is often implicated in the exploits of criminals. TMZ attempted a lazy correlation between Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev  and hip hop, claiming the deceased accused terrorist was “heavy” into the music because of an email he sent to website

For Whitlock there is of course one huge factor stopping his theory from holding any discernible weight: the millions of Jay fans who don’t commit crimes. Nonetheless, he sees Hov as the “new gold standard” since “bad is good in our society.” However, he fails to point out that Jay’s criminal record doesn’t hold a laundry list of offenses, he hasn’t been arrested in over a decade, and is (from what we can see) a very hands-on father to daughter Blue Ivy Carter. Therefore, if Brooklyn’s finest were truly a “gold standard” of behavioral practices, fans could just as easily follow the strong family unit he displays or the career success he’s amassed, rather than lyrics about adolescent drug deals.