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Death of controversial football icon OJ Simpson sparks mixed reactions

FILE - In this 1977 file photo shows Buffalo Bills NFL Football player O.J. Simpson.  (AP Photo, File)
FILE - In this 1977 file photo shows Buffalo Bills NFL Football player O.J. Simpson. (AP Photo, File)
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Many immediately reacted after the family of O.J. Simpson announced their loved one's death on Thursday.

The 76-year-old died after battling prostate cancer.

Simpson was a decorated football star and actor whose fame took a turn when he was charged with the murders of his former wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ronald Goldman. Simpson was acquitted of murdering Brown Simpson and Goldman in a trial that captivated Americans across the country.

Goldman's father, Fred Goldman, reportedly said the news of Simpson is a reminder of his son's death.

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

"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 in the Ron Goldman case, in a statement.

"I knew he was very sick, so I’m upset that he died. I got to know him fairly well during the trial. It was one of the most divisive trials in American history along racial lines. He’ll always be remembered for the Bronco chase, for the glove, and for the moment of acquittal.” — Attorney Alan Dershowitz, an adviser on Simpson’s legal “dream team," to NBC News.

“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," Pro Football Hall of Fame President Jim Porter, in a statement.

Caitlyn Jenner, who was acquainted with O.J. Simpson when she was Bruce, posted on X, "Good Riddance #OJSimpson."

“The Heisman Trophy Trust mourns the passing of 1968 Heisman Trophy winner OJ Simpson. We extend our sympathy to his family.” — Official Heisman Trophy account on X.

"I’m sad because, when people die you go `Oh, God, that’s terrible.’ But what happened to him, and maybe he brought it upon himself, but he was an icon in the nation. And he meant a lot (to) people doing those commercials. He did a lot for the Black race even though he didn’t know it. He wasn’t Muhammad Ali or anything, but he was doing things for athletes and not just Black athletes, but he kicked us into a really big thing. That’s what I think of him. He was a groundbreaker." — Joe DeLamielleure, Hall of Fame offensive lineman, Simpson teammate in Buffalo, by phone to The Associated Press.

Simpson was also best known for his role in the comedy movie franchise, "The Naked Gun." David Zucker, the films' director posted on Instagram, "R.I.P. Nordberg. ‘His acting was a lot like his murdering: He got away with it, but no one believed him."

Magic Johnson offered the Simpson family condolences."Cookie and I are praying for O.J. Simpson’s children Arnelle, Aaren, Justin, Jason, and Sydney and his grandchildren following his passing. I know this is a difficult time," Johnson posted on X.

During Thursday's White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, acknowledged Simpson's death.

"Our thoughts are with, uh are with his families during this difficult time, obviously with his family and loved ones. Uh And I'll say this, I know that they have asked for some privacy. Uh And so we're going to respect that. I'll just leave it there," said Karine Jean-Pierre.

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