O.J. Simpson's Inclusion In BET Awards' 'In Memoriam' Reportedly Surprises Attendees

Some of the attendees at Sunday night’s BET Awards were reportedly caught off guard by football player and accused murderer O.J. Simpson’s inclusion in the ceremony’s “In Memoriam” segment.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, when the montage flicked to a photo of Simpson, who was identified as a “former NFL player” on screen, “many in the audience were a bit surprised to see his face,” and one person in attendance noticed “some titters among the crowd.”

The “In Memoriam” montage also honored Bill Cobbs, Carl Weathers, Willie Mays, Clarence Avant, Maurice Hines, Richard Roundtree, Ron Cephas Jones, Rudolph Isley and Dexter Scott King.

Simpson was a celebrated football player, media figure and occasional actor before he was accused of the double homicide of ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman, in 1994.

Simpson appears in court in Las Vegas in May 2013. He was included in the BET Awards'
Simpson appears in court in Las Vegas in May 2013. He was included in the BET Awards' "In Memoriam" tribute on Sunday, prompting mixed reactions from the audience. Ethan Miller via Getty Images

The subsequent court proceedings were a media frenzy, leading it to be dubbed the “Trial of the Century.”

The families of Brown Simpson and Goldman criticized BET for including the sports star in the tribute, asking for an apology from the network.

“I think they shouldn’t include anyone of that caliber ― a wife beater, murderer … can’t imagine why they would include someone like that,” Fred Goldman, Goldman’s father, told TMZ.

Brown Simpson’s sister, Tanya Brown, also spoke to the outlet, saying, “It’s inappropriate to give an abuser and murderer recognition.”

Simpson was acquitted of murder charges in October 1995, but his reputation would never fully recover.

In 2008, he was imprisoned for armed robbery and kidnapping two sports memorabilia dealers at gunpoint in a Las Vegas casino hotel room one year prior.

Although sentenced to 33 years behind bars, the Nevada Parole Board granted Simpson release after serving nine years in prison.

He passed away from cancer in April, at the age of 76.