O.J. Simpson says Colin Kaepernick ‘made a bad choice in attacking the flag’ The Juice leaves much of America with the choice of agreeing with Kaepernick or him
Former NFL running back O.J. Simpson said he disagrees with Colin Kaepernick’s decision to kneel during the national anthem, calling the gesture “a bad choice in attacking the flag.”
In an interview with The Buffalo News on Friday that ranged in topics from his playing career with the Buffalo Bills to his time at Lovelock Correctional Center and brain injuries, Simpson seemed most opinionated about the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and his 2016 protests.
While Simpson said he appreciated Kaepernick’s message against police brutality and racial inequality, he thinks the quarterback “made a mistake” in choosing the American flag and national anthem as his vessel.
“I thought he made a bad choice in attacking the flag,” Simpson said. “I grew up at a time when deacons were in the KKK. 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.”
Simpson went on to say, leaving much of America with the choice of agreeing with Kaepernick or him, that he’s a “firm believer of doing what you think is right,” but — even after being accused of abusing his former wife (of which he was never charged), a gruesome double murder (of which he was acquitted), and robbing and kidnapping memorabilia dealers (of which he was convicted) — he “would always stand for the flag.”
In the rest of the interview, Simpson covered a variety of other topics.
On being the first running back in NFL history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a single season:
“From the moment that happened, I knew I was a part of football forever. I was the first guy to gain 2,000 yards and nobody could beat that, like being the first to hit 60 home runs or run the four-minute mile.”
On whether he would have voted for Donald Trump, whose wedding he attended in 1993, as president:
“Somebody asked me if I’d have voted for him. Probably not, but I only know two of my friends I’d vote to be president. Some of my best, best besties I would not vote to be president. That has no bearing on it, you know?”
On if he thinks he has chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, a debilitating brain disease:
“Well, I don’t know. I feel all right. But I have days when I can’t … I lose words, and I can’t come up with a simple word. I can’t remember a phone number, so forget that.”
(Simpson believes longtime friend and man-who-was-willing-to-take-a-bullet-for-The-Juice-before-he-was-famous Al Cowlings may be affected: “I see [Cowlings] short-tempered now. A guy who has never been short-tempered. I see he’s struggling just a little bit.”)
On returning to the Bills someday, a team he played for between 1969-1977:
“I like the Buffalo Bills. So I will, the minute I can travel, request once or twice maybe next season to go to Buffalo, visit some friends, meet some of the boys. I thoroughly enjoy coming back. But it will not be through the Buffalo Bills.”
On his legacy as a football player:
“Anybody that saw me play will remember me as a football player. I like to think I played the game with a lot of passion and love. … I like to think I left a lot of those runs out there. I don’t think that once you see it, you’ll ever forget it.”