Madden NFL 15 gamers won’t be seeing Ray Rice any longer.
EA Sports, the maker of the football video game, is removing the troubled Baltimore Ravens player from its format after the National Football League suspended Rice Monday when a troubling video surfaced of Ray allegedly punching and knocking out his wife, Janay Rice (formerly Janay Palmer).
With Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL, he will be removed from Madden NFL 15. The roster change will take place by this Friday.
— EA SPORTS Madden NFL (@EAMaddenNFL) September 9, 2014
The news that Rice will no longer appear in the popular video game comes on the heels of Nike pulling the plug on its endorsement with the Pro Bowl running back. Ironically, there’s no mention on the company’s website of its decision to ban Rice from its game format.
TMZ, which broke the news about Ray Rice being dropped from the popular gaming franchise, said the Ravens terminated the Rutgers standout’s 5-year, $50 million contract when the infamous elevator video surfaced in the media and on the internet.
Initially, when a portion of the video became public, NFL Commissioner, Roger Goddell, suspended Ray Rice for two games and instituted a mandatory six-game suspension going forward for any player involved in similar offenses of domestic violence.
Only after a firestorm erupted and new disturbing footage emerged did the NFL commissioner hand down an indefinite suspension to Rice. Now, critics are calling for his ouster, saying the action is far too late and proves the league is out of touch with setting standards of behavior among players.
Ray Rice’s wife, Janay, came spoke out for the first time on the discipline handed to her husband. And in a show of support, she lashed out at the media and NFL for exacerbating conditions in her marital affairs. Simply put, Janay Rice is standing by her man for the moment, and says she and her husband are quietly working through the volatile issues in their marriage. It seems Madden 15 removing her husband is the least of their concerns.
Tuesday, Rice’s wife admonished all parties involved for opening up a painful wound in her life by airing the footage. The Baltimore Sun verified a post on Instagram that belongs to Janay. It described her “horrible nightmare.”
“I woke up this morning feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I’m mourning the death of my closest friend. But to have to accept the fact that it’s reality is a nightmare in itself. No one knows the pain that [the] media & unwanted options from the public has caused my family. To make us relive a moment in our lives that we regret every day is a horrible thing. To take something away from the man I love that he has worked his ass [off] for all his life just to gain ratings is horrific.
“THIS IS OUR LIFE! What don’t you all get. If your intentions were to hurt us, embarrass us, make us feel alone, take all happiness away, you’ve succeeded on so many levels. Just know we will continue to grow & show the world what real love is! Ravensnation we love you!”
EA Sports’ removal of Ray Rice from Madden 15 NFL is not all that surprising. This is commonplace for sponsors who move quickly in the face of controversy in order to protect shareholders. Recall Tiger Woods lost a slew of endorsements years back when rumors surfaced of his alleged cheating on then wife, Elin Nordegren?
After Woods’ divorce was finalized and he returned to golf after a hiatus, many sponsors returned with new endorsements. However, it’s premature to think Ray Rice will recover in similar fashion.
[Image via: picturepush]