Social Media Reacts After O.J. Simpson Included in Super Bowl 2020 NFL Tribute

The former NFL running back was famously acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman

The NFL opted to include former running back O.J. Simpson, who was acquitted in the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman, in a pre-game tribute during Super Bowl 2020 — and social media noticed.

Simpson was recently named one of the 100 greatest players in the history of the NFL but was absent during a ceremony that took place before the game on Sunday. FOX, the station broadcasting the game, displayed Simpson’s name and picture in a graphic that included current Arizona Cardinals player Larry Fitzgerald, former Los Angeles Rams star Eric Dickerson, and other legendary running backs.

While his picture was one of many onscreen, social media users quickly criticized the league for honoring Simpson, who has largely kept out of the spotlight since he was released from prison on parole in October 2017 for kidnapping and armed robbery.

“Bold move including OJ Simpson in the list of NFL honorees,” wrote columnist Andrew Lawton.

Super Bowl LIV

“Did the NFL seriously note how great OJ Simpson was?!” added another Twitter user.

Years after the trial that grabbed the nation’s attention in 1995, Simpson separately served nine years for a kidnapping and armed robbery in Las Vegas.

Some on social media were surprised that the NFL would honor a controversial player such as Simpson, while former quarterback Colin Kaepernick has not been signed to a team after protesting in the name of racial equality in 2016.

“THEY INCLUDED OJ SIMPSON IN THE PRE-GAME SHOW TRIBUTE BUT Colin Rand Kaepernick DOESN’T HAVE A JOB,” wrote Twitter user Tyler King of the 72-year-old former player.

“NFL 100 put OJ Simpson in the corner next to Larry Fitzgerald and hoped nobody would notice,” added user Joshua Brisco.

Leading up to Super Bowl LIV — where the San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs faced off for the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida — Simpson tweeted a video message to his followers.


“Finally it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I just can’t wait,” he said in the video. “I’m going to a real super Super Bowl party.”

Simpson joined Twitter in June 2019 and has more than 928,000 followers.

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