11 episodes

All episodes are available for free, with ad-free episodes available for Wondery+ subscribers.
Football star Aaron Hernandez went from the bright lights of the Super Bowl to a convicted murderer in a few years. The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team, best known for its investigation of the sexual abuse scandal inside the Catholic Church, takes a hard look at the crisis facing football through the lens of Aaron Hernandez’s life and terrible crimes.
From Wondery, the podcast team that brought you Dr. Death, Spotlight asks: Did a brain badly damaged by football contribute to Hernandez’s violent behavior? Did he keep secrets about his sexuality that collided with a hyper-masculine football culture? Did elite coaches and teams look the other way as Hernandez was spiraling out of control?
Spotlight uncovered new documents, audio, and interviews to go deep into the story of what happened to Aaron Hernandez, and what it means for those of us who cheer on a violent game. 

Gladiator: Aaron Hernandez and Football Inc‪.‬ Wondery

    • Sports
    • 4.8 • 459 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

All episodes are available for free, with ad-free episodes available for Wondery+ subscribers.
Football star Aaron Hernandez went from the bright lights of the Super Bowl to a convicted murderer in a few years. The Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team, best known for its investigation of the sexual abuse scandal inside the Catholic Church, takes a hard look at the crisis facing football through the lens of Aaron Hernandez’s life and terrible crimes.
From Wondery, the podcast team that brought you Dr. Death, Spotlight asks: Did a brain badly damaged by football contribute to Hernandez’s violent behavior? Did he keep secrets about his sexuality that collided with a hyper-masculine football culture? Did elite coaches and teams look the other way as Hernandez was spiraling out of control?
Spotlight uncovered new documents, audio, and interviews to go deep into the story of what happened to Aaron Hernandez, and what it means for those of us who cheer on a violent game. 

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Introducing: False Idol

    Introducing: False Idol

    In the early 2000s, the Paralympics were headlined by star sprinters Marlon Shirley and Brian Frasure, when suddenly a new challenger emerged –– a teenager from South Africa named Oscar Pistorius. He immediately began dominating the sport, winning medals, setting records, and signing endorsement deals. But Shirley and Frasure had questions about how this newcomer was winning all these races. To hear more, listen to False Idol here or wherever you get your podcasts! 

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    • 44 min
    Wondery Presents - Dr. Death: Miracle Man

    Wondery Presents - Dr. Death: Miracle Man

    Paolo is a smart and handsome surgeon, renowned for his ability to perform surgeries that transform his patients’ lives. When television producer Benita covers him for a story, he’ll transform her life too, but not in the ways she expects. As Benita crosses professional lines to be with him, she learns how far Paolo will go to protect his secrets. And halfway around the world, four doctors at a prestigious medical institute make shocking discoveries of their own that call everything into question. From Wondery comes Season Three of the hit podcast, Dr. Death. MIRACLE MAN tells the story of a globe-trotting surgeon who seduces the medical world, and sweeps one woman off her feet. Hosted by Laura Beil.

     

    Listen to Dr. Death Season 3: wondery.fm/DDS3_Gladiator

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 5 min
    Playing Through Pain

    Playing Through Pain

    The New England Patriots are in the Super Bowl again, and many current NFL players are feeling the physical toll the season has taken. Aaron Hernandez spoke to his former teammates nearly every day from prison: about the injuries they endured, and the drugs they took to dull the pain. Some of the drugs were legal, administered by the teams, but some drugs weren't. The drugs can help players remain on the field. But at what cost?




    Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/gladiator

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min
    Interview

    Interview

    Aaron Hernandez died in 2017 but his life still raises questions. On this special episode Liz Dolan, host of “Safe For Work” and “Satellite Sisters,” speaks with Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight Team about the making of Gladiator, and the one question he still wants answered.




    Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/gladiator




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    Audible - Get a 30-day free trial and a free audio book when visit them at audible.com/gladiator

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    • 23 min
    Beauty & Violence

    Beauty & Violence

    In life, Aaron Hernandez weighed 240 pounds. In death, the most important part of his body was just over 3 pounds. When researchers analyzed his brain they were shocked by what they found. A lifetime of football had seemingly taken a tremendous toll, but could it explain his violent crimes?




    Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/gladiator




    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Zip Recruiter - Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ziprecruiter.com/gladiator

    Stamps.com - Use code GLADIATOR for a 4 week trial including postage and a meter stamps.com

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    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 32 min
    Erasing Aaron

    Erasing Aaron

    With his arrest, Hernandez traded in his jersey number for an inmate number in the Massachusetts prison system. His voice was rarely heard from again in public -- but he spent hours talking on the phone from inside jail. Spotlight obtained ninety hours of jail calls -- never before heard publicly -- that provide an intimate look at his life and mind in the period before his first murder trial.

    For more information on issues raised by this series, including suicide prevention, mental health, LGBTQ+ support, and concussion and sports safety, here is a list of support groups and educational organizations




    Listen ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. Available in the Wondery App. https://wondery.app.link/gladiator




    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Zip Recruiter - Get a free trial and learn how to hire smarter when you visit them at ziprecruiter.com/gladiator

    Hims - Get a trial month for just $5 when you visit them at forhims.com/gladiator

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
459 Ratings

459 Ratings

JacRox71 ,

Intriguing podcast

I am Australian and only know minimal information on AH. I did watch the Netflix program, so I had that program for context. I found this an intriguing story and am very surprised at how much I appreciated listening to it unfold. I binged it and am astounded at how his life unravelled. I am a fan of the Spotlight Team, which is why I tuned in. Thank you and well done Spotlight Team, you have put together a clear, informative, linear, insightful program.

Brojerrr ,

Great listen

Very detailed and well thought out and changed my whole thinking process

bhuvidya ,

Fascinating and well told story

Gave a lot more info and background than the Netflix doco, which is also very good. Watch the doco, then listen to this podcast.

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