Washington, July 19 (ANI): Trading card and memorabilia company Panini has reportedly removed stickers of murder-accused American football star Aaron Hernandez.
The stickers have been replaced with those of his former teammate Tim Tebow from 500,000 of its sticker books, which were already produced but had yet to hit the shelves.
According to ESPN, the company places ten stickers directly into the books to get a collector started even though the stickers come in packs, adding that it was coincidence that Hernandez was one of the ten players chosen.
The report further said that the company has produced one million stickers of New England Patriots star Tebow to fill the vacant spot left after the removal of the Hernandez stickers, adding that the Tebow stickers will be handed out at events or given to customers who received Hernandez stickers in a pack.
Stating that the company is also allowing sticker collectors to download the Tebow sticker image from its website, the report further said that Hernandez, who has already appeared in two of Panini's NFL card sets made for this upcoming season, will also be replaced by Tebow in future card sets.
According to Panini's vice president of marketing Jason Howarth, the company felt that making these changes was the right thing to do both for Panini and its products and for their fans and collectors.
The report mentioned that Panini joins Electronic Arts, the Patriots and Pro Football Hall of Fame as organizations that have distanced themselves from Hernandez since he was charged with murdering a semi-pro football player and had pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and five gun-related charges. (ANI)