Is O.J. Simpson’s Twitter Account Helping To Remake His Public Image?
From a Hall of Fame football hero to a suspected double murderer to an armed robber to an ex-con fantasy football fanatic — Simpson's life has been a roller-coaster.
It was June 12, 1994, when someone horrifically stabbed Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman to death outside of Brown Simpson’s Brentwood condo.
The next day, Brown Simpson’s ex-husband, retired football star O.J. Simpson, was picked up and questioned about the murders after authorities said they found blood evidence in his home and his Bronco.
In a bizarre twist of fate, over a decade later, Simpson ended up behind bars anyway, after an armed robbery gone wrong in an incident in a Las Vegas hotel room. Simpson reportedly claimed he was attempting to take back some sports memorabilia he said was his. He was found guilty in that case in 2008 and served almost nine years of a 33-year sentence in prison.
After being released on parole on October 1, 2017, Simpson seemed to have a rocky re-entry into society.
Just about a month after his release, in November 2017, Simpson was allegedly drunk and unruly in a bar at the Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas. Staff reportedly removed Simpson from the hotel and permanently banned him from the establishment.
In August of the next year, he was caught on camera in a Las Vegas restaurant joking with a fan, saying, “Being a felon ain’t all bad!” which drew attention from the press.
On June 14, 2019, Simpson posted his first video on his Twitter account. In his introductory video, he addresses the existence of fake accounts and assures us that @TheRealOJ32 is the only real one. He predicts it’s going to be a lot of fun, and says, “I’ve got a little gettin’ even to do.”
Just three days after his launch, someone accused the official Simpson Twitter account of sending a threatening message to a parody account. It allegedly contained 16 knife emojis. This exchange has not been authenticated and could have been a hoax, but it certainly brought negative attention to Simpson’s Twitter.
In his bio on his Twitter, which boasts almost 100,000 followers, Simpson writes, “Hello Twitter World, It’s Yours Truly. If you don’t see it here, I didn’t say it.” The account is almost exclusively videos of Simpson talking, often in front of a background of a blue sky and palm trees, or sometimes posing on a golf course, club in hand.
He begins his videos with “It’s yours truly, here!” or “Hello Twitter World, it’s yours truly!” He comes across as affable, smiling, and eager to talk about his favorite subject: football.
The dominant subject of @TheRealOJ32 is fantasy football. Simpson posts video after video about his fantasy football drafts and how they performed. Sometimes he’s even broadcasting from what looks like a sports bar, with football games visible on the bar’s televisions.
He also posts commentary on the football games themselves, often offering what he would have done differently, like when he comments on the underuse of running backs in the sport.
He sometimes strays from the topic of football, such as in a video mourning the death of an agent of his, Jack Gilardi. He tells an anecdote about being overwhelmed to meet actress Annette Funicello. He revealed he was a Mouseketeer and watched “all those beach movies” growing up.
Within his video commemorating 9/11, he goes off on a rant about sports announcers covering players accused of crimes. Simpson apparently believes that a football player’s alleged involvement in a crime should be off-limits for commentators.
He did, however, speak out against hatred-based crimes and guns, in the wake of shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio.
In a touching video, Simpson discusses how he and other celebrity friends, including Michael Jackson, founded a camp for children who have cancer. While he says he can’t comment on anything to do with Jackson’s private life, Simpson attests the performer was a “kind and generous soul. Rest in peace, Michael.”
It seems clear from Simpson’s Twitter, which is his only public-facing outlet these days, that he’s representing himself as a mild-mannered retiree, who spends his time golfing in the sun, watching football, and reminiscing about his past and his friends.
He probably is all of those things, as well as a paroled ex-con who served his time and paid his debt to society. But despite all the good-natured, sports-centric videos he Tweets, though, it might take more than that to fully eclipse the public perception of Simpson as the only suspect in the still-unsolved murders of Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ronald Goldman.
According to a June 10, 2019 article from AP News, Simpson said, “Life is fine.” He continues to declare his innocence in the unsolved murder case, the AP reported.
Watch Investigation Discovery’s O.J. Simpson Trial: The Real Story on ID GO now!