CBSSports.com reported Monday that EA Sports decided to remove the former New England Patriots tight end from “Madden NFL 25″ following his arrest for the murder of Odin Lloyd. It’s not a surprising move given how quickly the NFL and sponsors have distanced themselves from Hernandez, who is currently awaiting trial on six charges related to Lloyd’s death.
Interestingly, Hernandez is in EA Sports’ college football game, “NCAA Football 14″ – but only temporarily. It might seem strange that he’s in the game at all considering that he hasn’t played for Florida since 2010, but it’s because this year’s “NCAA” added the Ultimate Team mode shared by the company’s other sports titles. Ultimate Team allows players to assemble a dream team of former college stars, and Hernandez was supposed to be on one of the cards available in that mode.
That card is gone, and the achievement that earned it will grant players an Alex Smith card instead. But since the same launches today, there wasn’t time to prevent Hernandez’s picture from popping up when the achievement is completed. An upcoming patch will take the picture out too.
Cynical types could point out that EA Sports could wait to see if Hernandez is found guilty, but since the Patriots released him after his arrest, he’s not on an NFL roster. That’s reason enough to not have him “in the game.”