Ford claims new Bronco release date is coincidental. Nicole Brown Simpson's family is doubtful.

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click to enlarge The Ford Bronco at the O.J. Simpson pop-up museum at the Coagula Curatorial Gallery on August 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. - Joe Seer /
Joe Seer /
The Ford Bronco at the O.J. Simpson pop-up museum at the Coagula Curatorial Gallery on August 17, 2017 in Los Angeles, California.

Last week, when Ford Motor Company announced the release date for the new Ford Bronco, a vehicle that has been out of production since 1996, people were quick to realize that the date was a curious choice considering the SUV's storied affiliation.

The Michigan-produced Bronco will hit sales lots on July 9, according to a tweet posted by Ford.

July 9 is also O.J. Simpson's 73rd birthday.

In 1994, 95 million people found themselves glued to the television as the former NFL star lead a slow 60-mile police chase in a white Ford Bronco after he was charged with the gruesome murders of his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend, Ron Goldman.

Nicole Brown Simpson's sister, Tanya Brown, told The Detroit Free Press she wasn't sure as to why the date was chosen, and questions if this was “a marketing twist” made by Ford to hype up the new model.

“Is that on purpose? My first reaction was, ‘are you kidding me? This is funny?’”

Ford Spokesman Mike Levine told Freep that the timing of the debut is “a pure coincidence.” He also said Ford is sticking to the release date despite the controversy.

Simpson was found not guilty on both murder counts in 1995 after an 11-month long trial, which produced the infamous line uttered by Simpson's attorney, Johnnie Cochran, “If it doesn't fit, you must acquit,” after the prosecutors requested Simpson try on the glove found at the scene of the murders. When he did, he theatrically struggled to fit them to his hands.

The strongest piece of evidence linking Simpson to the murders, however, was the blood splatter from Nicole, Goldman, and Simpson, found in and on the Bronco.

Simpson's SUV has been on display at the Alcatraz East crime museum in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., since 2016. Though Simpson's agent Mike Gilbert, who still owns the vehicle, attempted to sell it for $1.3 million on an episode of Pawn Stars in 2017, around the same time Simpson was released from prison after serving 9 years of a 33-year sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping. His release came 10 years after Simpson released a book written in partnership with a ghostwriter titled, If I Did It, in which he hypothetically describes how he would have committed the murders if he had in fact committed the murders.

The reactions to Ford's decision were mixed, though many people seem to call bullshit on Ford claiming it was a coincidence.

Some thought it was top-notch marketing, others thought it was downright hilarious.

There appears to be a lot of pushback, too. Some people have suggested Ford select a new date and commit to donating sales to domestic violence organizations. Others simply think it's tasteless and tone-deaf to celebrate an “alleged” murderer. A few people have pledged to never buy Ford products.

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