Former football star and high-profile defendant O.J. Simpson tweeted that he has received a COVID-19 vaccine, sparking commentary on social media sites. Acquitted in the 1994 killing of his former wife and her friend, Simpson later was imprisoned for an armed confrontation at a Las Vegas hotel-casino.
“No ill effects,” Simpson, 73, tweeted Sunday regarding his vaccination. Simpson had received a Pfizer shot Friday at a “local” Walgreens pharmacy. Simpson lives in Las Vegas. He tweeted a photo of himself getting the shot.
In a video tweet Sunday, Simpson noted that his age made him eligible for a shot under Nevada guidelines. He joked that he recently had his “34th annual 39th birthday.”
Simpson said in the video tweet that he and his daughter spent four hours on the phone over two days, lining up a reservation for a shot. His daughter did most of the waiting on the phone, he said.
Saying in the video he is “just fine,” Simpson pulled down a coronavirus mask to reveal prank false teeth. The teeth are misshapen. “I’m just teasing, but, no, I’ve had no ill effect whatsoever,” he said. The outside of his mask includes the words “The Juice,” his longtime nickname.
“Wear your mask,” he said. “Get the shot.”
Simpson’s vaccination prompted comments on social media sites.
One Twitter user identified as “Robin [REDACTED]” tweeted, “I just saw OJ Simpson was trending, but for all the wrong reasons. Apparently keeping him alive is more important than keeping me alive.”
Another user identified as “i bless the rains down in castamere” noted Simpson meets the age requirement for a vaccination.
He’s over 65 and unfortunately no one thought to include an ‘except for specifically OJ Simpson’ provision,” the user tweeted.
Arthur Caplan, a bioethics professor at New York University Langone Medical Center, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Simpson is qualified for a shot. Under the guidelines, “Even jerky celebrities who meet standards are eligible for the vaccine,” the professor said.
As a standout running back at the University of Southern California, Simpson won the 1968 Heisman Trophy. The trophy is awarded every year to the top college football player. From there, Simpson played in the National Football League, mostly for the Buffalo Bills. Late in his career, he played for his hometown San Francisco 49ers.
Simpson also was known for his acting roles on television and in movies. In addition, he is remembered for Hertz rental car television commercials showing him dashing through airports.
In a highly publicized criminal trial, a jury acquitted Simpson in 1995 for the June 1994 slayings in Southern California of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. A civil jury later found him liable for wrongful death and ordered him to pay $33.5 million in damages.
In 2008, Simpson was found guilty of armed robbery and kidnapping in attempting to retrieve personal items from football memorabilia dealers at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. After serving nine years behind bars, Simpson was paroled in 2017 from the Lovelock Correctional Facility in Northern Nevada.
Last year, Simpson was in the news over a legal dispute with the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. He had been escorted from the resort on the Strip in 2017.