O.J. Simpson shared his thoughts on a bevy of topics with Buffalo News Friday (Mar. 16), including his thoughts on Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem.
Simpson was apparently impressed with the athlete-turned-activist’s choice, but felt it was a mistake when he kept doing it. “I think Colin made a mistake,” Simpson said. “I really appreciate what he was trying to say. I thought he made a bad choice in attacking the flag. When he did it the first time, I thought, ‘Well, you took a gamble, and I give you credit.'”
Simpson, who was acquitted of the murders of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in the “Trial of the Century,” went to defend the flag and the national anthem. “I’m a firm believer of doing what you think is right, but I would always stand for the flag,” he said. Kaepernick has shared several times his protests were intended to shed light on police brutality and racial discourse in America.
“I’ve been very clear from the beginning that I’m against systematic oppression,” Kaepernick said to reporters in 2016. “Police violence is just one of the symptoms of that oppression. For me that is something that needs to be addressed but it’s not the whole issue.”
Simpson also critiqued the NFL’s actions after other players kneeled in solidarity with Kaepernick. “I grew up at a time when deacons were in the KKK,” he said. “I don’t disrespect the Bible because of those guys. The flag shouldn’t be disrespected because of what cops do. The flag represents what we want America to be. I’m a firm believer of doing what you think is right, but I would always stand for the flag.”
Simpson intended to speak about his football career, which he feels he doesn’t get much credit for. While speaking on his time in the league he also addressed his concerns about chronic traumatic encephalopath also known as CTE. “I have days when I can’t … I lose words, and I can’t come up with a simple word,’ he said. The disease is currently only diagnosed after a patient is deceased. Studies have shown most players tested for CTE come back positive.
“I get concerned,” he said. “I do recognize that it probably affects you in short-term memory more than long-term.” He also mentions how close friends have shown signs of the disease like Allen Cedric “A.C.” Cowlings. “My buddy A.C., my closest, oldest friend, I see he’s short-tempered now.” he said. “I see he’s struggling just a little bit.”
Simpson also addresses his former friendship with President Donald Trump and his time in prison.
Read the interview here.