The man who is known as the “concussion doctor” is weighing in on the plight of ex-NFL star OJ Simpson. Simpson is currently serving a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping from an incident involving his sport memorabilia in 2008. Dr. Bennet Omalu made headlines for his work regarding chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a traumatic degenerative brain disease that occurs after repeated head trauma. His research on the disease and its impact was featured in the 2015 movie Concussion starring Will Smith. Omalu recently stated during an interview that he’d bet his medical license that O.J. Simpson suffers from CTE based on the size of Simpson’s head and the hard hits he took as a NFL player.
Omalu states, “If you have a bigger head that means your head is heavier. That means the momentum of your impact would be bigger. It’s basic physics.” It is speculated that Simpson’s defense team may possibly use this information in an attempt to get his conviction overturned. In a 2012 interview, Simpson stated, “I was knocked out of games for such head blows repeatedly in the 1970s and other times I continued playing despite hard blows to my head during football games.” Persons who are afflicted by this disease suffer from memory loss, confusion, impaired judgment, impulse control problems, aggression, depression, anxiety, and suicide. Currently, the only way to diagnose the condition is an examination of the brain after death.
In 1994, Simpson was charged in the murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman in a sensational trial that riveted the nation. The trial is now the subject of a soon to be released TV mini-series starring Cuba Gooding, Jr. titled “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” The series debuts this Tuesday on FX.