New details of O.J. Simpson’s life behind bars at Lovelock Correctional Center in Nevada have emerged in a recent L.A. Times article.
The former football star, 69, works in the prison gym four times per week, wiping down gym equipment and mopping the floors, according to the paper. To stay in shape, he works out on the weight machines and walks laps around the prison’s track. While his bad knees don’t allow him to play on any of the sports teams, he coaches, umpires and even serves as commissioner of the prison softball league.
"He’s popular with the sports crowd — guys go up to him and ask him what he thinks about current sports teams,” Jon Hawkins, a former inmate who was released earlier this year, told the L.A. Times. “O.J. is just a regular dude. He does his job and he goes to his cell.”
While the world has once again become enthralled with his story, Simpson hasn’t had access to any of the shows or documentaries about his life that have aired in recent months. The prison doesn’t get FX for him to see The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and while ESPN is usually allowed, the inmates weren’t permitted to watch the network’s documentary O.J.: Made in America. “It is inappropriate and can be a safety and security risk to transmit information about an inmate to the rest of the inmate population,” Nevada Department of Corrections spokeswoman Brooke Keast told the newspaper.
According to retired Lovelock prison guard Jeffrey Felix, the former NFL player was “depressed” at first, but he’s now a model prisoner. “I would say 99.9 percent of inmates like him — they look up to him,” Felix told the L.A. Times. “He’s the perfect candidate for parole. That’s all he thinks about. If he gets into a conflict [with another inmate], he backs out. He wants to be a free man again.”
Felix also revealed that Simpson keeps a photo of himself and his late wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, on a shelf in his cell. The former athlete was famously found not guilty of killing Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, but landed behind bars for a 2007 armed robbery and kidnapping incident in Las Vegas.
His parole could happen as early as October 2017 when he completes his minimum nine-year sentence. If he is released, Simpson will then have to face the $33.5 million judgement against him in the civil case for the murders of Brown Simpson and Goldman. Although he still receives a pension from the NFL and royalties from some of his movies, he will likely face financial challenges. If he is denied parole, he will have his next mandatory parole review in April 2022.