O.J. Simpson Worried He Has CTE: 'I Have Days I Can't Find Words'

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMarch 16, 2018

CORRECTS SOURCE TO KOLO-TV - Former NFL football star O.J. Simpson appears via video for his parole hearing at the Lovelock Correctional Center in Lovelock, Nev., on Thursday, July 20, 2017.  Simpson was convicted in 2008 of enlisting some men he barely knew, including two who had guns, to retrieve from two sports collectibles sellers some items that Simpson said were stolen from him a decade earlier. (KOLO-TV via AP, Pool)
Uncredited/Associated Press

O.J. Simpson said in an interview with Tim Graham of the Buffalo News that he fears he may have chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE.

"I get concerned," he said. "I do recognize that it probably affects you in short-term memory more than long-term. I know with me, I have days I can't find words. I literally cannot find words or the name of somebody I know. That gets a little scary. Those days happen when I'm tired."

Simpson also told Graham he suspects some of his former teammates might suffer from the condition.

"I have a few friends that have symptoms ... and older friends that have it full-bore. ... It is horrible to see. ... My buddy A.C. [former high school, USC and Bills teammate Al Cowlings], my closest, oldest friend, I see he's short-tempered now. ... A guy who has never been short-tempered. ... I see he's struggling just a little bit."

In 2016, Dr. Bennet Omalu—who was credited with discovering the degenerative brain disease that can only be detected in deceased brains—told Johnny Dodd of People he believed Simpson likely suffers from the condition.

"I would bet my medical license that he has CTE," he said. "Given his profile, I think it’s not an irresponsible conclusion to suspect he has CTE."

A Pro Football Hall of Famer, Simpson, played in the league for 11 years. He became even more notorious after his career, however, when he was accused of murdering his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her boyfriend Ron Goldman. 

Simpson was acquitted in a criminal trial but a jury determined he would pay $25 million to the families of Brown Simpson and Goldman in a civil trial

He was later convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in a separate case and spent nine years in prison.


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