The thoroughly depressing story of Orenthal James (O.J.) Simpson took yet another turn for the worse this week with his arraignment on multiple felony charges. The charges stem from a Sept.14 incident in Las Vegas involving stolen sports memorabilia, and the incident serves as another reminder that some people just don’t get it.
I know that at this point these are just charges and that Simpson may very well be exonerated in the end, but whether he’s guilty or innocent, Simpson needs serious mental counseling for the rest of his life.
My reasons for this statement go beyond the fact that he’s been charged with multiple crimes. Rather, it’s his inability to stay away from the overwhelmingly negative controversy that has followed since the infamous double-murder trial of 1994.
What in the world must be going through this man’s head?
Really, how much more can he embarrass himself and his loved ones?
I thought the United States was rid of this guy after his preposterous If I Did It book was stripped from him and awarded to the family of Ronald Goldman. But in an unbelievable – yet still believable – turn of events, “The Juice” turned up in Vegas, involved in an alleged sports-memorabilia heist.
In Simpson’s defense, my first reactions to the allegations were: (1) there is no way this guy could be that stupid, and (2) there is no way he could be so far gone from reality to be involved in something like this.
Then he released a statement to the media that initially echoed my thoughts: “I’m O.J. Simpson. How am I going to think that I’m going to rob somebody and get away with it? You’ve got to understand, this ain’t somebody going to steal somebody’s drugs or something like that. This is somebody going to get his private (belongings) back. That’s it. That’s not robbery.”
So then I thought to myself, maybe these charges are bogus. But the slightest bit of sympathy for O.J. was sucked out of me when I read the last sentence of his statement, which read: “I thought what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas.”
To make matters worse, one of Simpson’s lawyers released a statement claiming: “O.J. said, ‘You’ve got stolen property. Either you return it or I call the police.'”
That claim seems to reflect the logical thought process of any sane person in America. However, when Simpson was asked why he didn’t call the police to recover his allegedly stolen property he said: “The police, since my trouble (in 1994), have not worked out for me. It just becomes a story about O.J.”
The real people I feel terribly sad for are his children, particularly the younger children he fathered with the late Nicole Brown Simpson (one of whom called the police on him after an argument in 2003). Imagine going through life with Simpson as your father. Having to face the constant questions, the endless speculation – all of this prior to his writing a book detailing how he would have killed your mother had he actually done it. If I Did It would undoubtedly tap into your own interpersonal conflict of determining whether your father is the cold-blooded killer of your own mother. The only children on this planet who could possibly relate to you would be the children of Mike Tyson and Michael Jackson.
To anyone who feels Simpson is being treated unfairly, I ask the following questions. Why hasn’t NFL star Ray Lewis been in
trouble since his double-murder case? Why hasn’t Kobe Bryant been in trouble since his sexual-assault case? It’s because they wised up and stopped putting themselves in compromising positions. If Michael Vick is feeling down about his troubles, he can find peace in knowing that he doesn’t have it worse than Simpson – no one does. Except for his children.
Ryan Watson is a graduate
student in mass communications.