Orenthal James "O.J." Simpson is a well-known figure. But no matter how much Americans have heard about the once-beloved football Hall of Famer — whether they believe he did or did not murder ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman in 1994 — the creators of a new ESPN documentary, "O.J.: Made in America," have shown there's much more to learn.
On Tuesday, the Disney/ABC-owned cable channel began streaming a five-part, seven-hour documentary about the rise and fall of the sports icon. Instead of simply rehashing his infamous murder trial and acquittal, director Ezra Edelman unpacks O.J.'s story through the lens of race in America.
Here are a few examples of how O.J.
He skipped an opportunity to organize with top black athletes after the Olympic Committee banned black sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos from participating in the games.
In 1968, O.J.
A friend encouraged Simpson to participate in the protest. "I'm not black. I
He had nothing to say after LAPD officers were acquitted in the Rodney King case.
In interviews with reporters, O.J.
He delighted in white acceptance and disparaged other blacks.
In one part of the ESPN documentary, New York Times journalist Robert Lipsyte recounted his interview with O.J.,
"He overheard a white woman at the next table saying, 'Look, there's O.J.
with all those n****rs,'" Lipsyte told ESPN. "I remember in my naive day, saying to O.J., 'Gee, wow, that must have been terrible for you.' And he said, 'No, it was great. Don't you understand? She knew that I wasn't black. She saw me as O.J.'" sitting
All five parts of "O.J.: Made In America" are available online and on mobile devices through WatchESPN, the Los Angeles Times reported. On cable, ESPN airs the second part of documentary Tuesday. Parts three, four and five rescheduled to air Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, respectively.