A spokesperson for EA Sports explained to CBS Sports their plans on removing its CPR touchdown celebration from Madden NFL 23. The decision comes after a tragic episode during Monday Night Football on January 2, when Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals. Medics rushed onto the field immediately and performed CPR to stabilize him. Hamlin is on the road to a miraculous recovery.
In the video game, players can lay down on the ground after scoring a touchdown as their teammates come over and revive them doing fake CPR. Since Hamlin’s injury, Madden NFL fans posted clips of it online requesting that the feature be removed.
EA Sports heard the complaints and has plans to remove that feature sometime in the near future. “EA Sports is taking steps to remove the celebration from Madden NFL 23 via an update in the coming days,” the spokesperson said.
Recently, Pittsburgh Steelers outside linebacker Alex Highsmith experienced backlash following a mock CPR stunt after successfully tackling Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson on Sunday during a game. Highsmith addressed the controversy on Monday when he was asked about his actions.
According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Highland stated: “I just don’t want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything [intentional]. Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never ever would do that.”
What happened to Hamlin was a shocking occurrence in the world of football. It will be interesting to see how—or if—the NFL will address incidents like this going forward.