O.J. Simpson Remembered and Derided After His Death at 76

O.J. Simpson at his trial in Las Vegas in 2008. (Credit: YouTube/Entertainment Tonight)

O.J. Simpson, one of the most controversial figures in sports and entertainment, died Wednesday after battling prostate cancer.

In a statement, his family said the NFL Hall of Famer and former actor passed away on April 10 “surrounded by his children and grandchildren.”

Instead of the glowing tributes on social media that usually follow celebrity deaths, Simpson’s passing was mostly met with derision.

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Many users on X, formerly Twitter, said the fallen football hero should have been convicted for the June 1994 slayings of his former wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ron Goldman.

Simpson was acquitted by a predominantly African-American jury in Los Angeles in 1995, during what became known in popular culture as “the trial of the century.”

While he avoided jail in the criminal case, he was found liable for the fatal stabbings by a predominately white jury in nearby Santa Monica in 1997, and ordered to pay the Brown and Goldman families $33.5 million.

A decade later, Simpson was arrested in connection with a 2007 armed robbery at a Las Vegas casino and hotel, which he said was to recover sports memorabilia stolen from him after his criminal trial.

Simpson was convicted on Oct. 3, 2008, and served nine years in a Nevada prison.

As news of his death spread Thursday morning, the phrase “rest in hell” trended on X.

Among the reactions were “OJ Simpson died without officially confessing his crime. May he rest in hell. In this day, we remember Ron and Nicole.”

Another person posted, “OJ Simpson probably looking up at us. Rest in peace or in hell. Just rest.”

Others reacting to Simpson’s death included Fred Goldman, the father of Rod Goldman, who told an NBC News reporter that Simpson’s death is “no great loss.”

“The only thing I have to say is it’s just further reminder of Ron being gone all these years,” Fred Goldman said. “It’s no great loss to the world. It’s a further reminder of Ron’s being gone.”

Still others had more positive commentary about Simpson, including NBA great Magic Johnson and The Heisman Trophy Trust, which hands out college football’s biggest award.

“Cookie and I are praying for O.J. Simpson’s children Arnelle, Aaren, Justin, Jason, and Sydney and his grandchildren following his passing. I know this is a difficult time,” Magic Johnson wrote on X.

“The Heisman Trophy Trust mourns the passing of 1968 Heisman Trophy Winner OJ Simpson,” the organization said in the statement. “We extend our sympathy to his family.”

NFL star Todd Gurley II added on X, “RIP To The Legendary O.J Simpson your favorite RB. Appreciate you Uncle O/Juice, you’ll be missed. Thanks for the past year being on ‘It Is What It Is’!! Heisman, #1 pick, NFL MVP & the first ever 2000 yard rusher let alone to do it in 14 games, the list goes on & on!”