Chris Rock and OJ Simpson aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence. But worlds collide when 'the slap' heard around the world meets the 'trial of the century'.
Rock recently addressed the viral moment where actor Will Smith went on stage to slap the comedian for making fun of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. He disclosed that the Academy asked him to host next year’s Oscars.
As reported by The Arizona Republic, Rock mentioned the Oscar hosting invite during his Phoenix show. The comedian/actor compared returning to the Oscars stage to returning to the scene of a crime.
Specifically, he said that hosting next year’s awards ceremony is similar to asking Nicole Brown (Simpson’s ex-wife and victim of the infamous murder in 1994) “to go back to the restaurant.”
Chris Rock previously hosted the Oscars in 2005 and 2016. While he was adamant during his show that he would not host the awards ceremony next year, the story itself will not go away any time soon. That's due to the parties involved and the footage going viral around the world.
A look at OJ Simpson’s NFL career
Before OJ Simpson was a Twitter personality, before being the main subject of the most widely viewed murder trial, and before starring in the Naked Gun movies, he was an accomplished NFL player.
Simpson played college football at USC where he also won the Heisman Trophy in 1968, given to the best college football player of that season. The Buffalo Bills made him the number one overall pick in the 1969 NFL Draft where he would play for the franchise for eight seasons. He would play for the San Francisco 49ers for one season before retiring.
OJ Simpson’s career highlights include being named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 1973, the league’s Offensive Player of the Year that same year, and winning the rushing title in four years (1972, 1973, 1975, and 1976). In 1985, the Pro Football Hall of Famee inducted Simpson into its ranks.
On the field, Simpson earned the nickname 'Juice' due to his speed and power running the ball, and as a play on his first name’s abbreviation - 'OJ'. Although his acting career never really took off as he intended, Simpson would get to work with esteemed actors like the late, great Leslie Nielsen and George Kennedy.
In the FX series The People vs. OJ Simpson: American Crime Story, Cuba Gooding Jr. played Simpson on screen. David Schwimmer played Simpson's friend Robert Kardashian (the late patriarch of the Kardashian family).