Jon Gruden’s time as the Raiders coach ended on Monday. He resigned from his post amid a scandal involving emails he sent over a seven-year span that contained racist, sexist and homophobic language within them.
The fallout for Gruden has been swift. He was removed from the Buccaneers’ ring of honor earlier in the week. Now, he is being dropped by EA Sports’ “Madden NFL 22”.
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EA Sports announced in a statement that they would replace Gruden with “a generic likeness” in the coming weeks.
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. We will replace him with a generic likeness via a title update in the coming weeks.
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The removal of Gruden will make him one of two coaches with a generic likeness within the Madden franchise. The other is Bill Belichick, though his absence is for an entirely different reason.
EA Sports has an agreement with the NFL Coaches Association that allows them to use the name and likeness of the NFL’s head coaches in their game. Belichick isn’t a member of that group, so EA Sports doesn’t have permission to include him there. They instead use a generic character named “Griffin Murphy” as the coach.
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That may explain why EA Sports isn’t replacing Gruden with his interim replacement, Rich Bisaccia. They may not have permission to put him in the game and it may be too late for them to get it, as the game was released nearly two months ago.
So while Bisaccia may be coaching the Raiders in reality, it doesn’t look like he’ll be doing so in Madden. But Gruden won’t be either as he continues to face consequences for his actions.