NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The forensic pathologist who first discovered chronic traumatic encephalopathy in football players believes O.J. Simpson suffers from the brain disease.
Dr. Bennet Omalu told PEOPLE “it’s not an irresponsible conclusion to suspect” Simpson has CTE.
“I would bet my medical license that he has CTE,” Omalu said.
Simpson, who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985, is currently serving a 33-year prison sentence after being convicted in October 2008 of armed robbery and kidnapping in Nevada.
In 2012, Simpson tried to garner a new trial, claiming he suffered from concussion-related brain damage due to football.
According to ESPN, Simpson said in a sworn statement that he had suffered “numerous blows to my head and/or landed on my head violently.”
“I was knocked out of games for such head blows repeatedly in the 1970s and other times I continues playing despite hard blows to my head during the football games,” Simpson said, ESPN reported.
PEOPLE reports Simpson’s head was so large, that he needed custom-made helmets.
“If you have a bigger head that means your head is heavier,” Omalu said. “That means the momentum of your impact would be bigger. It’s basic physics.”
Several football players were found to have CTE when they died, including Dave Duerson, Andre Waters and Junior Seau. Those three ended up committing suicide.
Simpson was infamously acquitted of murder in 1995 of the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman.
The Will Smith movie “Concussion” is based on Omalu’s work.