Bills allow player to wear No. 32 jersey for first time since O.J. Simpson wore it

O.J. Simpson’s history with the Buffalo Bills is complicated. To say the least.

Simpson is one of the greatest players in Bills history. He’s one of the greatest running backs ever. He’s also infamous, of course. He was found not guilty in the double-murder criminal trial of Ron Goldman and his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. In a civil trial, Simpson was found liable for the killings and a judge ordered Simpson to pay $25 million to the families. Simpson would later spend time in a Nevada prison on an unrelated crime.

As the Bills have tried to dodge their history with Simpson, a curious side note emerged: Simpson’s No. 32 was never retired by the team. Yet, since Simpson’s last Bills season in 1977, it hadn’t been reissued either.

That changed this offseason, as another Bills player was given No. 32 for the first time in 42 years.

O.J. Simpson’s Bills number back in circulation

Tim Graham of The Athletic wrote about the Bills reissuing No. 32 for the first time in more than four decades. Running back Senorise Perry is wearing No. 32 as the Bills go through their offseason program.

“Whatever they do is fine with me,” Simpson told Graham in a phone interview. “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.

“And, to be honest, it’s not something I think about. There’s too much else going on in life.”

Perry has played 48 NFL games between the Dolphins and Bears, mostly on special teams. He said he had worn No. 32 most of his life, but assumed it was retired in Buffalo. Perry told Graham he was told it was available, and took it.

Simpson has unusual history with Bills

Perry isn’t guaranteed to make the Bills. If Perry doesn’t make the roster, technically Simpson will still be the last player to wear No. 32 for Buffalo.

But now that No. 32 is back in circulation, other players presumably will ask for it. They’ll have to consider that the uniform number will get more attention than any other they could ask for, but the legacy might not matter as much to players born in the late 1990s. After a while, it might not be shocking to see a Bills player wearing No. 32.

Even if we see someone else wearing No. 32 for the Bills, the complicated history behind Simpson and the Bills will never fade.

18 PHOTOS
Key facts about OJ Simpson and 1995's 'Trial of the Century'
See Gallery
Key facts about OJ Simpson and 1995's 'Trial of the Century'

O.J. Simpson's full name is Orenthal James Simpson. 

(Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

O.J. Simpson attended the University of Southern California where he played football and ran track. 

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

O.J. Simspson married his high school sweetheart Marguerite (Whitley) Simpson in 1967 when he was 19. The pair had three children together before divorcing in 1979.

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson won the Heisman Trophy in 1968. 

(Photo by University of Southern California/WireImage)

O.J. Simpson was the first overall pick in the 1969 NFL draft. He was selected by the Buffalo Bills.

(Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson married Nicole Brown Simpson in 1985. 

(Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson was a sideline reporter for NBC after he retired from the league. 

(Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson had two children together. (Photo by Barry King/WireImage)
O.J. Simpson and Nicole Brown Simpson divorced in 1992. (Photo by Vinnie Zuffante/Archive Photos/Getty Images)

Ronald Goldman, 25, was murdered with O.J. Simpson's ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson on June 12, 1994.

(Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)

O.J. Simpson arrested and charged for the murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown and her friend Ronald Goldman on June 12, 1994.

(Photo by Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson led police on a low-speed chase through Los Angeles in his white Ford Bronco driven by Al Cowlings on June 17, 1994. Cowlings eventually drove Simpson home, with Simpson ducked under the back passenger seat, to Brentwood where he surrendered after a standoff with police.

(Photo by Jean-Marc Giboux/Liaison)

O.J. Simpson's trial was broadcast on television for 134 days. 

(Photo credit should read VINCE BUCCI/AFP/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson (C) listens to the not guilty verdict with his attorneys F. Lee Bailey (L) and Johnnie Cochran Jr (R). Simpson was found not guilty of killing his ex-wife Nicole Brown-Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman at the conclusion of the "Trial of the Century." 

(Photo credit should read MYUNG J. CHUN/AFP/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson is currently serving a nine-to-33-year sentence in state prison as a result of an October 2008 conviction for armed robbery and kidnapping charges. 

(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson's defense team was led by attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr (C) and included Robert Kardashian, father of Kourtney, Kim, Khloe and Rob Kardashian. Kardashian's then-ex-wife Kris was friends with Nicole Brown Simpson at the time of her death. 

From L-R are attorneys Robert Kardashian, who was also a friend of Simpson's, Jo-Ellen Dimitrius, Robert Shapiro, Cochran, F. Lee Bailey and Carl Douglas. 

(Photo credit should read POO/AFP/Getty Images)

O.J. Simpson and a ghostwriter Pablo Fenjves wrote a book in 2006 about the double murder entitled, "If I Did It." 

(Pool Photo By Wilfredo Lee/Getty Images)

In 1997, O.J Simpson was found liable for the deaths of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman. He was ordered to pay $33.5 million. 

(Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)

HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

– – – – – – –

Frank Schwabis a writer for Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at shutdown.corner@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @YahooSchwab

More from Yahoo Sports:

 

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.