EA Sports announced yesterday evening that the company has made the decision cut Aaron Hernandez, former tight end for the New England Patriots, from its upcoming Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14 games after Hernandez was charged with the murder of another footballer.
On June 26, Hernandez was officially charged with the murder of Odin Lloyd. Hernandez also faced charges of unlawful possession of a firearm, and possession of a large capacity firearm.
It isn’t clear whether or not the murder suspect’s removal from the games was due to the murder charges – which he has not yet stood trial for – or the fact that he was released from the Patriots.
“We made a decision to remove Aaron Hernandez from Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14,” a spokesperson for EA Sports said. Although Hernandez was not a playable character in NCAA Football 14, his image appeared in the game as a card in the Nike Skills Trainer.
Had Hernandez remained in Madden NFL 25, however, he would have been available as a free agent.
“Because NCAA Football 14 was finalized prior to our decision, Hernandez’ image still appears in the Nike Skills Trainer. However, he is not in the game, and anyone who unlocks that particular Nike Skills Trainer reward will receive an Alex Smith Ultimate Team player item instead,” the spokesperson went on to say, adding that Hernandez’s image will be completely removed from the game in a future title update.
EA Sports’ statement comes after a number of Twitter users began circulating an image from NCAA Football 14 over the weekend which shows the player card in question.
NCAA Football 14 was released today, July 9, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Madden NFL 25 is due out on the same platforms on August 27 with next-gen versions of the games expected to be released around the time of the launch of the consoles.