The Legacy of OJ Simpson: From NFL Star to Controversial Figure

Las Vegas. Orenthal James Simpson, better known as OJ, award-winning American football star and Hollywood actor, who was acquitted of charges of double murder of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson (with whom he had two children) and her friend Ronald Goldman in 1994, during the considered trial of the century, died at the age of 76 early Wednesday morning in Las Vegas due to prostate cancer. His family confirmed his death yesterday through social media.

On April 10, our father succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that his wishes for privacy and grace be respected.

The former Buffalo Bills and San Francisco 49ers running back is considered one of the most important players in NFL history. With New York he became the first to add more than 2,000 yards in a single season, which earned him the league’s Most Valuable Player honor in 1973. In his college days with the Southern California Trojans He won the Heisman Trophy in 1968, which recognizes the best college player. I was part of the history of American football, he said years later. If I didn’t do anything else in my life, I’d already left my mark.

He was the first player to reach a rushing mark that many thought could not be achieved in one season. His contributions on the field will remain in the archives in Canton, Ohio, Jim Porter, president of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, published yesterday in a statement.

The case that opened debates

For a long time, OJ Simpson was the man who had it all. He lived the American dream as a sports legend, movie actor, advertiser and millionaire. During those years he gained fortune and adulation, but his legacy was overshadowed by the tragic event.

All I have to say is that it’s one more reminder that Ron has been gone all these years. It’s not a great loss to the world, Fred Goldman, Ron’s father, told NBC News after his death.

The criminal trial was a media sensation. Simpson was charged with murder, but before turning himself in he led police on a low-speed chase through Los Angeles freeways. Which was televised in prime time and became the first of many moments in the strange saga that shook the United States.

His death, nearly three decades after the murders that changed his reputation, evoked memories of a moment in time when a country without smartphones was glued to their televisions to watch a Ford Bronco pickup truck make its way down a California highway. .

“I’ve had a good life, great friends,” he said in what many believed was a suicide note written just before leaving in his vehicle. Please think about the real OJ and not this lost person.

Racism and violence

Her case fueled a series of debates about racism, domestic violence, celebrity fame and police misconduct.

While his legal situation was clarified, all the evidence collected at the crime scene seemed to condemn him. Drops of blood, footprints and a glove were found there. As well as an additional copy of this last garment, but this time stained with blood and found in his residence.

The former player did not testify, but prosecutors asked him to put on the gloves in court. He had a hard time fitting them into his hands and uttered just three words at the trial: They are very small. His lawyer Johnnie L. Cochran Jr addressed the jury with one word: If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit.

A court acquitted him of murder charges in 1995, but another civil trial found him liable for the deaths in 1997 and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to the families of Brown and Goldman.

A decade later, he led a group of five men he barely knew in a dispute with two sports memorabilia dealers in a Las Vegas hotel room. Two of them were armed. A jury found Simpson guilty of armed robbery and other crimes and he was sent to prison at the age of 61. He served nine years in a prison in a remote area of ​​northern Nevada, where he worked as the janitor of the prison gym.

He showed no remorse when he was released on parole in October 2017 and insisted to the parole board that he was only trying to recover items that were stolen from him after his trial in Los Angeles.

Many people debated that he was convicted in Las Vegas because he was acquitted in Los Angeles. In 2016, he was the focus of both a miniseries and a five-episode documentary on ESPN.

“I don’t think the majority in the United States believes I did it,” he told the newspaper. The New York Times in 1995, a week after the jury determined he did not kill Brown and Goldman. I have received thousands of letters and telegrams from people who support me.

Twelve years later, as a result of a massive public outcry, tycoon Rupert Murdoch canceled a book by the publisher HarperCollins, in which Simpson was going to describe how he would have caused the deaths. Which was going to be titled If I Dit It (If I had done it).

Goldman’s family, always persistent in enforcing the multimillion-dollar compensation awarded in the civil trial, obtained control of the manuscript and gave it another name: If I Dit It: Confessions of the Killer. (If I Had Done It: Confessions of a Murderer).

“It’s all blood money and, unfortunately, I had to join the jackals,” Simpson told The Associated Press at the time. She collected $880,000 in advance for the book, paid through a third party. “He helped me get out of debt and secure my home,” she said. Less than two months after losing the rights to the copy, Simpson was arrested in Las Vegas.

He trial of the century It meant a radical change in Simpson’s life, who went from a gridiron hero to one of the most controversial characters in the history of American sports. After his death, which reminds us of how controversial his case is, the NFL has not commented on the matter.

Among other reactions is that of former NBA player Earvin Magic Johnson, who on his social network account X showed his condolences to his family

My wife and I are praying for OJ Simpson’s children, Arnelle, Aaren, Justin, Jason and Sydney, and his grandchildren.

2024-04-12 15:59:00
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