OJ Simpson says Will Smith was "wrong" to hit Chris Rock over the comedian’s "semi-unfunny" joke at the Oscars.

The controversial former NFL player said he "understood the feeling" of being made fun of by comedians, adding he had occasionally wanted to "b-slap a couple of those guys".

It comes as discourse rages on about the altercation at the 94th Academy Awards, during which best actor winner Smith slapped Rock across the face for a joke made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Giving his opinion on the incident in a video posted online, Simpson said: "It was unfortunate, I think Will was wrong.

"I understood the feeling, in my life I’ve been through a lot of crap.

"When I was raising two young kids, every comedian in the country had an OJ routine, and don’t think I wouldn’t want to b-slap a couple of those guys."

The moment Will Smith struck Chris Rock at Sunday night's Oscars

He continued: "But you’ve got to accept that that’s human, I didn’t even think that was all that egregious… it was a semi-unfunny joke."

Simpson added that if he had done a similar thing in front of "a billion people watching around the world" he would have been given life in prison.

Simpson was acquitted of the murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995.

During the trial he was represented by reality star Kim Kardashian’s father, Robert Kardashian.

He was later jailed following an armed robbery in Las Vegas in 2007 and served a lengthy sentence before being released in 2017.

Source: Press Association