O.J. Simpson: Juice off the Loose

October 2, 2007, 2:06 pm


By Andrew L. Jaffee

Today, O.J. Simpson was ordered by Superior Court Judge Gerald Rosenberg to “hand over his Rolex watch and other assets to satisfy part of a long-standing judgment that found him liable for the deaths of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and friend Ron Goldman.” O.J. has turned out to be his own worst enemy — more and more so in the eyes of African-Americans:

…after a string of missteps by the former football star — a heated 2003 argument with his teenage daughter in which she called police; a book, “If I Did It,” that raised eyebrows last year; and a dispute over sports collectibles in Las Vegas this month that led to an armed-robbery arrest — black opinion has shifted. …

Stock Photos from 123RF

A Washington Post survey found that 40 percent of black respondents believe he is innocent of the murders, compared with 71 percent who felt that way around the time Simpson was acquitted in 1995. The change in black opinion brings African American views of Simpson’s guilt closer to those of white people. In late 1995, 72 percent of white respondents said Simpson was guilty of murder, and 74 percent say they feel that way now.

The 31-percentage-point drop among black respondents is a head-turner, sociologists said, because African Americans were such steadfast supporters of the celebrity, cheering in some places when the verdicts were read.

“Blacks in the survey are probably saying, ‘We’re sort of fed up with this guy,’ ” said Earl Smith, a Wake Forest University professor who wrote “Race, Sport and the American Dream.” “If you look at his actions since the murder, they’ve all been bad decisions, just constant.” …

Related: Hollywood, Law

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