Former Raiders coach Jon Gruden has not only been erased from the NFL but from the already-released “Madden NFL 22.”
In an announcement on Wednesday, EA Sports said that Gruden will be removed from the popular video game in the wake of his resignation over his past comments.
“EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity. Due to the circumstances of Jon Gruden’s resignation, we are taking steps to remove him from Madden NFL 22,” the company said.
“We will replace him with a generic likeness via a title update in the coming weeks,” it added.
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) October 13, 2021
EA Sports has a history of altering the games to fit a prevailing cultural trend. In September of 2020, for instance, shortly after a report indicated no NFL teams had expressed real interest in signing former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick for the 2020-2021 season, the company announced that Madden NFL 21 would allow players to put Kaepernick “at the helm” of any team in the game’s franchise mode.
“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EASPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game. We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and works for past soundtrack mistakes,” the announcement began.
“Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football,” it added.
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 8, 2020
Jon Gruden resigned as head coach of the Oakland Raiders this week after several past emails surfaced in which he said that black NFLPA leader DeMaurice Smith had “lips the size of Michelin tires.” In another email, Gruden also called NFL commissioner Roger Goodell a “fa***t” and a “clueless anti-football p***y.” While the sports community has expressed support for Gruden’s resignation, some figures, such as Fox Sports 1 commentator Shannon Sharpe, believe that the controversy would have passed if Gruden’s homophobic language did not surface, suggesting a kind of woke hierarchy where the LGBT community has all the veto power.
“The LGBTQ community shouldn’t be carrying more weight than the women community or the black community or the Asian community,” said Sharpe on Monday. “It seems to me that’s what’s happening because the groundswell wasn’t like it was when he said what he said about [DeMaurice] Smith.”