Assemblyman Pat Burke wants O.J. Simpson’s name removed from the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame.
Burke, whose district includes Orchard Park, sent a letter to Bills owners Kim and Terry Pegula on Monday. In it, he provided an example of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers removing a coach from their Ring of Honor.
“We too must take inventory of the character of those who adorn our stadium’s walls,” Burke said in the letter.
In October 1995, Simpson was acquitted of charges accusing him of killing his ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson, and her friend, Ron Goldman. Both were found dead in Los Angeles the year prior.
Although he was ultimately deemed not guilty in that case, Simpson ended up behind bars later on in life. In 2008, he was convicted of armed robbery and kidnapping in Nevada.
Sentenced to nine to 33 years in prison, Simpson was released after serving the minimum.
But Burke points to something else in his argument for the removal of Simpson’s name.
“Spousal abuse, of which Simpson pleaded no contest to in his 1995 trial, is not something that should be tolerated,” he said. “The California prosecution documented an atrocious 85 pages’ worth of Simpson’s domestic violence abuses over 17 years.”
“In 2000, Bob Kalsu was inducted not for his exemplary football career with the Bills, but for his merits,” Burke wrote in his letter. “He played for the Bills for only one season before joining the U.S. Army and sadly, was killed in action in the Vietnam War.”
Burke says Simpson was “a great player” but not someone “who exemplifies the values of the Buffalo Bills or the Western New York community.”
“Considering that 31.7% of New York women and 29% of New York men have experienced intimate partner physical violence, intimate partner sexual violence and/or intimate partner stalking in their lifetimes, there is no room to celebrate abusers,” he wrote.
Burke shared the entire letter on Twitter:
OJ Simpson spent years abusing his wife. A civil jury found him responsible for her's and her friend's gruesome deaths. He spent years in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping. Yet, we hold his name in honor? I'm asking @KimPegula to take his name off the Wall of Fame. pic.twitter.com/gL7kGGaDss
— Pat Burke ? ? (@PatBurkeNY) November 1, 2021