OJ Simpson
Los Angeles, California - circa 1991: O.J. Simpson arriving at a restaurant

Normally if a celebrity died after a successful Hollywood career and being one of the greatest NFL stars of all time, you might expect a lot of headlines about tributes pouring in. But that was not so for OJ Simpson, who has died of cancer at 76.

Simpson became so persona non grata in so many circles, three decades before his death, that it was nigh impossible to find anyone to say anything good about him after his death was announced Thursday.

“R.I.P. Nordberg. ‘His acting was a lot like his murdering: He got away with it, but no one believed him,'” said David Zucker, who directed Simpson in two Naked Gun movies, on Instagram. He was repeating a joke he made in his recent book Surely You Can’t Be Serious: The True Story of Airplane!, where he also joked that he hasn’t been in touch with Simpson since loaning him some knives.

Zucker was referring to the murder charges that came to define Simpson in the public eye, even though he was acquitted in 1995.

Simpson was charged with the murder of his ex, Nicole Brown, and her friend, Ron Goldman, on the night of June 12, 1994. His acquittal in 1995 came after a lengthy trial that captivated the nation. He was later found liable for both of their deaths in a civil trial, and ordered to pay $33,500,000 in damages to be divided between the Goldman and Brown families.

He never did.

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

Also Read: When OJ Simpson Was Almost The Terminator

Caitlyn Jenner, who was once married to Kris Jenner, the ex-wife of Simpson’s attorney, Robert Kardashian, had nothing good to say: “Good Riddance #OJSimpson” Jenner wrote on X.

And many posted jokes from Norm MacDonald, the Saturday Night Live comedian who was fired for making jokes about Simpson in 1998 and died in 2021, also of cancer.

Sports Figures on the Death of OJ Simpson

Sports figures were kinder, focusing on his athletic accomplishments rather than his trials.

“The Heisman Trophy Trust mourns the passing of 1968 Heisman Trophy winner OJ Simpson. We extend our sympathy to his family,” the Official Heisman Trophy account posted on X. The account didn’t have to fear social stigma: You can’t cancel a trophy. (So far.)

Magic Johnson expressed sympathy for his family.

“Cookie and I are praying for O.J. Simpson’s children … and his grandchildren following his passing. I know this is a difficult time,” Johnson said on on X.

Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter stuck strictly with the facts about what Simpson accomplished in his 11 seasons with the Buffalo Bills.

“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,” he said in a statement.

There was also some hope that the settling of Simpson’s estate might finally bring some payment to the Brown and Goldman families.

“He died without penance. We don’t know what he has, where it is or who is in control. We will pick up where we are and keep going with it.” – David Cook, a San Francisco attorney for the Goldman family who has been seeking since 2008 to collect the civil judgment, said in a statement to The Associated Press.

Simpson’s death was announced by his family Thursday on his X account.

“On April 10th, our father, Orenthal James Simpson, succumbed to his battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and grandchildren. During this time of transition, his family asks that you please respect their wishes for privacy and grace.” their statement said.

Main image: OJ Simpson circa 1991, courtesy of Shutterstock.

Editor’s Note: Corrects typo.