NFL community reacts after OJ Simpson, 76, dies following cancer battle

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The family Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson announced Thursday that the former Buffalo Bills star died after battling prostate cancer, prompting reactions from around the NFL community. He was 76. 

Simpson, whose illustrious NFL career was overshadowed by the trial and eventual acquittal in the 1994 killings of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, passed away on Wednesday, his family confirmed in a statement posted on X. 

O.J. Simpson is photographed at a football game

O.J. Simpson, professional football player with the Buffalo Bills, is inducted into the Wall of Fame in Rich Stadium on September 14, 1980. Simpson is accompanied by his parents, his son, Jason, and Ralph Wilson, owner of the Buffalo Bills.  (Ross Lewis/Getty Images)

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren.” 

The family asked for “privacy and grace” during this “time of transition.” 

Several members of the NFL community took to social media with their reactions. 


Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter said in a brief statement to Front Office Sports, “O.J. Simpson was the first player to reach a rushing mark many thought could not be attained in a 14-game season when he topped 2,000 yards. His on-field contributions will be preserved in the Hall’s archives in Canton, Ohio.”

Simpson was drafted by the Bills with the first overall pick out of USC in 1969. He led the league in rushing four times from 1972 to 1976, during which time he was voted league MVP in 1973. 

O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills during NFL Playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills

O.J. Simpson of the Buffalo Bills during NFL Playoff game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Buffalo Bills at Three-Rivers Stadium on December 22, 1974, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.     (Ross Lewsis/Getty Images)

He was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1985. 

After his career had ended, Simpson was embroiled in a murder trial following a June 1994 arrest in connection with the brutal slayings of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman. Simpson was 46 years old at the time.

His status as an accused double murderer rocked the country, and his courtroom trials captivated households. His fall from grace continued throughout the mid-90s and early 2000s.

Robert Shapiro appears in court alongside his client, O.J. Simpson

Robert Shapiro appears in court alongside his client, O.J. Simpson, in Los Angeles, California on June 20, 1994. (Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images)

He was later acquitted in 1995, but a separate civil trial jury found him liable in 1997 for the deaths and ordered him to pay $33.5 million to family members of Brown and Goldman.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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