For the first time in 42 years, No. 32 is going to be worn on the field for the Buffalo Bills. Senorise Perry has been granted permission by the Bills to wear the number during the 2019-2020 NFL season. Perry is a five-year NFL veteran, who is about to play his first season with Buffalo.
So what’s the big deal about No. 32? The last player to wear that number was Hall of Fame running back O.J. Simpson.
Some believe the number should have already been retired because Simpson was one of the greatest Bills players of all time. Usually, players who have had an outstanding career with a team get their jerseys displayed somewhere in the stadium, and the organization bars any other players from being able to wear that number. As of right now, the Bills have three retired numbers: Jim Kelly’s No. 12, Thurman Thomas’ No. 34 and Bruce Smith’s No. 78.
After having an outstanding collegiate career with the University of Southern California, Simpson was selected first overall by Buffalo. He rushed for over 11,000 yards and scored 61 rushing touchdowns in his 11-year career. In 1985, Simpson was inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame.
However, others like NFL fan Rebecca Gutierrez think the number should be given away because of his off-the-field issues,
“I think anyone can wear the No. 32 if they like. I think they would represent themselves and the Bills organization better than O.J. did.”
In 1994, Simpson was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman. After a heavily publicized trial, Simpson was found not guilty in a controversial verdict that drew strong reactions from millions of people who were watching from home.
In 2008, Simpson was sentenced to 30 years in prison after attempting to steal back memorabilia he claimed to be his from a Las Vegas hotel. After spending almost nine years in prison, Simpson was granted parole.
When asked about the situation, Simpson responded to The Athletic.
“To be honest, it’s not something I think about. There’s too much else going on in life.”