A Yankees minor league team moved quickly to cancel its “OJ Simpson Trial Night” after a backlash against the promotion.
The Charleston RiverDogs, the Yankees’ Single-A affiliate in the South Atlantic League, canceled the event scheduled for May 26 after complaints rolled in.
“After taking a step back and having further reflection on the overall message that was being conveyed, it was the responsible thing to do,” team president Dave Echols told the Charleston Post and Courier.
The team announced the event when unveiling its 2020 schedule only this Monday. But fans were not very enthused by the “juicy spin” the team expected to put on the promotional night.
Simpson was, of course, the former NFL star accused of murdering his wife and her friend, Nicole Brown Simpson, and Ronald Goldman. Simpson was eventually acquitted of murder charges. Though the former player and actor was later lost a wrongful-death lawsuit in 1997, and he was required to pay a $33.5 million judgment that he has never made an attempt to pay.
The team’s initial description of the event signaled a lighthearted take on the murders.
“The trial of the century gets a juicy new spin. We will finally receive the verdict that everyone has been waiting for … pulp or no pulp?” the description read. “Fans will act as our jury, voting with custom paddles to reach verdicts on various topics throughout the night. The eyes of the nation will be upon us. Fans will receive an ‘OJ Trial’ shirt upon entering the stadium. If the shirt don’t fit, you must … see if we have a different size.”
The humorous take on Simpson’s history did not sit well with fans or advocates for victims.
“I’m glad that the RiverDogs have reconsidered and recognized that this promotion crossed the line from humor into insensitivity and disregard for both the victims in this case and the thousands of South Carolinians who are victims of violence every year,” said. Sara Barber, executive director of the SC Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault.
Others were just as appalled by the promotion:
If you want to hear me rail against the Charleston RiverDogs' OJ Simpson Night promotion, listen to today's Locked On Yankees!
They canceled it after some backlash but why even book it in the first place? What the hell were they thinking? https://t.co/jhbL8liHAz
— Stace Force (@StaceGots) March 6, 2020
— Big Rick (@bigrickinjersey) March 6, 2020
So the RiverDogs were going to have an "OJ Simpson Trial Night" promotion, which they wisely cancelled. Seriously, who in hell thought this promotion was a good idea?
— MauiLaurie🏌️⚾️ (@KenneyLaurie) March 6, 2020
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