(CNN) — At least 1,200 people have given up their jerseys bearing the name of New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez at the team’s official shop now that Hernandez has been charged with murder, the team says.
About 300 of the shirts that have been turned in as part of a free exchange offer are youth sizes, the Patriots reported Sunday.
Hernandez was arrested June 26 and charged with murder in the death of a friend, Odin Lloyd. Prosecutors say Hernandez had a falling-out with Lloyd at a nightclub and planned his execution-style killing in the following days.
After prosecutors brought charges against Hernandez, the Patriots offered fans who had purchased Hernandez jerseys the chance to trade them in.
“We know that children love wearing their Patriots jerseys, but may not understand why parents don’t want them wearing their Hernandez jerseys anymore,” spokesman Stacey James said in announcing the offer last week. “We hope this opportunity to exchange those jerseys at the Patriots ProShop for another player’s jersey will be well received by parents.”
The exchange applied only to Hernandez jerseys purchased from the Patriots’ ProShop and PatriotsProShop.com. Jersey owners had to go to the ProShop in Foxborough, Massachusetts, during store hours to exchange.
While the team did not release a figure of how much the exchange program is costing, a regular male jersey costs $99.95, women’s jerseys cost $94.95 and youth jerseys cost $69.95, on the ProShop website.
It’s a different story on eBay, where Hernandez merchandise is fetching big bucks.
Official Hernandez jerseys are selling for as much as $1,500 online as former fans try to cash in on the athlete’s fall from grace and others try to snatch a bizarre collectible.
Authorities have said Hernandez and two other men picked up Lloyd from his Boston apartment on June 17. Surveillance cameras captured their car at an industrial park near Hernandez’s home in North Attleborough, Massachusetts. Lloyd’s body was found in the industrial park later that day, authorities say.
Hernandez, 23, is being held without bail at the Dartmouth House of Corrections in a 7-by-10-foot jail cell. He is allowed outside of his cell for three hours a day, but has no access to television, the Internet or a weight room, Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson said. He also won’t be able to marry his fiancee while in jail.
By Holly Yan and Brittany Brady