An open letter to O.J. Simpson

Dear Mr. Juice,

Now that you have a little extra time on your hands, I was wondering if you could help me understand a few things.

I’m having a really hard time understanding – after you were acquitted of double murder in 1995 – why didn’t you buy a nice villa in Costa Rica, find you a nice little senorita and lay low? I mean, really?

And please don’t think I’m writing you to make you feel any worse than you must be feeling at this moment but a lot of things just don’t make sense. Some clarity would be great.

Your life up until that “incident” in 1994 had been pretty spectacular. You were one of the best running backs to ever play the game and you were one, if not the first black athlete, to crossover into the marketing and film worlds with astonishing success.

Who will ever forget the commercial where you were running through the airport? That was definitely an inspiration for young, black athletes all across America. I can’t help but think that every time your name comes up.

When you were acquitted, it was the happiest I had seen our people in a long, long time. Not as happy as when my main man Barack Obama won the presidential election but elated nonetheless.

But for some strange reason, I believe you took that the wrong way. We weren’t happy because a black man may have gotten away with murder. No sir. I sincerely believe that anyone, regardless of race, who murders two people should be put away for life. We were happy because black men routinely get railroaded by the “man” and the system at an alarmingly disproportionate rate than our white counterparts. And for once the same system that never seemed to work in our favor let you walk out of that courtroom a free man even though there was some pretty strong evidence against you. Even if some of it was presented by a racist cop.

And while we’re talking about the system, could you please explain to me why you were in shackles in the courtroom this time around and not the last? That doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense to me but I don’t have a law degree.
I must say that your plea to the judge in Nevada seemed very sincere and I really believe that you had no idea that this would come out the way it did. A good friend of mine said they would get you with the make-up call on this one for what happened in California, even though the judge made a point to say that wasn’t the case. Sounds like you got set up to me, man.

Everything that happened that day was either recorded by audio or videotape. It was your stuff right? Someone was out to get you. Mission accomplished.

That said, writing a book about how you could have killed the two murder victims and gotten away with it was not the smartest idea you’ve ever had. What were you hoping to accomplish? To pay the $33.6 million civil judgment to the Goldman family? It’s never a good idea to rub it in people’s faces.

In closing, I really hate to see anyone in this situation, especially black athletes. But the numbers don’t appear to be declining. Maybe we can all learn from your mistakes. Maybe you can speak to some of these guys and tell them where you went wrong.