CytoSport, the maker of Muscle Milk, has pulled its sponsorship of New England Patriots’ Tight End Aaron Hernandez in the wake of the recent murder investigation surrounding the budding star.
The nutrition company reported that it broke its deal with Hernandez on Friday, saying that the termination was “effective immediately.” The loss of sponsorships come just three days after the investigation into the death of 27 year old Odin Lloyd began.
Other athletes that are sponsored by CytoSport are Green Bay Packers Linebacker Clay Matthews and Ian Kinsler of the Texas Rangers.
Explaining their decision to pull Hernandez from their list of sponsors, a spokesperson for CytoSport said that “Because the investigation is ongoing, CytoSport will not comment on Aaron Hernandez and his situation at this time. We will continue to monitor it closely.” He did admit that the sponsorship was pulled “in light of the investigation” according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.
Hernandez signed with CytoSport in July of last year, and was featured in a video advertisement for the company. A product he regularly used even when not sponsored, he began taking Muscle Milk while playing at the University of Florida.
Hernandez has played a central role in the investigation from the beginning, although he has not of yet been charged with the murder of Lloyd. Although he, nor anyone else for that matter, has been charged with the homicide of Odin Lloyd, suspicious activity has surrounded the tight end since the news first broke that he was being questioned by authorities.
Smashing his home security system and his cell phone and hiring a cleaning staff to scour his house before the police arrived to search the home are just some of the eyebrow raising behavior he has displayed in the wake of the murder.
Puma also sponsors the tight end, although they are yet to follow suit with CytoSport and pull their sponsorship with the now heavily investigated Aaron Hernandez.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express