BUFFALO, NY (WROC) – For the first time since 1977, a Buffalo Bills player will be wearing the jersey number 32, the number that belonged to the infamous running-back O.J. Simpson.
According to the Athletic, running-back Senorise Perry is using the number that was unofficially taken out of circulation after Simpson faced murder charges in 1995.
Known as the “Juice” to his fans, Simpson’s nearly decade-long and vastly impressive career left difficult shoes to fill. Simpson racked up over 11,000 rushing yards as a running back and was regarded as one of the best football players of all time until, to the public’s disblief, Simpson was accused of murdering both his ex-wife Nicole and her friend Ron Goldman.
He was acquitted for each, but the shadow the trial cast over Simpson’s life stretched into this century when he was arrested and convicted for robbery in 2008. In the aftermath of those trials, Senorise Perry will take Simpson’s jersey, coincidentally Perry’s lifelong number. Perry told the Athletic that he initially believed the number was retired, but he jumped at the chance to take it when he was later informed that it was available after all. Although the jersey was not officially retired, Simpson’s name and number are emblazoned as a part of the Wall of Fame in New Era Field.
Recently on parole for the 2008 robbery, Simpson appears not to be upset at the number being given to a new player.
Speaking with the Athletic, Simpson said, “Whatever they do is fine with me. That’s how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honor the team. Since I left, I always tried to honor the Bills.”
Perry will wear the number as he seeks to make the crowded Bills roster behind LeSean McCoy.