OJ Simpson’s no. 32 has been out of circulation for the Bills since he headed to the 49ers in 1977 after nine seasons in Buffalo, but this season it will be worn by running back Senorise Perry.
Given that the number was never formally retired it’s not entirely surprising that it would be worn by another player at this point. We’re all privy to the details of why they certainly wouldn’t have a formal jersey retirement ceremony for Simpson now or at any junction going forward.
What is a little bit surprising is that the jersey was not formally retired at any point between 1977 and the 1994 murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
“Whatever they do is fine with me,” Simpson told Tim Graham of The Athletic. “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 previously played for the Bears and most recently the Dolphins. He sounds decently excited to wear the number, and his quotes on the matter encompass Simpson’s play between the lines but he did not really go into the legacy off it.
“I thought it was retired,” Perry told Graham, “but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it. I know the situation. I know that greatness comes with that number, playing in Buffalo. But I’m willing to take anything that comes my way. I’m going into my sixth year, and I know what it takes to get in this league and stay here. With that number on my back, I know I’m doing well for my family.”