The Buffalo Bills' have assigned their number 32 jersey to a player for the first time since O.J. Simpson wore it 42 years ago.
Running back Senorise Perry will wear the number once donned by Simpson, who played in Buffalo from 1969 until 1977, earning four rushing titles and becoming the first man to rush for more than 2,000 yards.
While the number was never officially retired by the Bills, the scandals attached to Simpson's name meant the Bills did not give it out to players that followed.
Simpson was acquitted of the double murder of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1995. However, he was found liable for their deaths in a civil suit filed by their families.
In 2007 Simpson was arrested on felony armed robbery and kidnapping charges in Las Vegas. He was convicted of both charges in 2008 and served nine years in prison. He was released in October last year.
"Whatever they do is fine with me," Simpson, 71, told The Athletic of Perry taking his jersey.
"That's how I feel. When I played there, I tried to honour the team. Since I left, I always tried to honour the Bills.
"And, to be honest, it's not something I think about. There's too much else going on in life."
Perry, who spent the last two seasons with the Miami Dolphins, accepted wearing the number would bring extra attention but did not hesitate to pick 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," he said.
"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.
"On one hand, wearing the number of a Hall of Famer creates a high expectation. I thought it was retired, but then I was told it was available. Boom, I took it."
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