EA will remove disgraced NFL coach from Madden 22

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 19: Jon Gruden of the Las Vegas Raiders in action against the Pittsburgh Steelers on September 19, 2021 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Image credit: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

Electronic Arts has announced that it will remove former NFL coach Jon Gruden from Madden NFL 22 in a future update. Gruden resigned from the NFL on October 11 following the surfacing of racist comments, homophobic slurs, and sexist remarks he made in emails sent between 2011 and 2018. 

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"EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity," EA said in a Twitter post. "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."

Gruden previously coached the Raiders from 1998 to 2001, then the Tampa Bay Bucaneers from 2002 to 2008, before becoming a color commentator for Monday Night Football. Gruden came under fire earlier this month for racist, homophobic, and misogynstic comments in emails he wrote over the course of seven years before returning as a coach for the Las Vegas Raiders in 2018. Gruden met with Raiders ownership on Monday and later announced his resignation the same day. 

The NFL released a statement saying it condemned a 2011 email by Gruden that contained a racist description of the executive director of the NFL Players Association DeMaurice Smith.

Gruden also used a homophobic slur to describe NFL Commisioner Roger Goodell and alleged that Goodell influenced leadership of the Rams to select Michael Sam in the 2014 draft. Sam became the NFL's first openly gay player, coming out after completing his college football career.

Gruden was in his fourth season of a 10-year contract that was estimated to be worth $100 million.

Gruden's emails came to light as a result of the NFL's investigation into workplace misconduct concerning the organization now known as The Washington Football Team. A number of Gruden's emails containing discriminatory language were sent to Bruce Allen, the former president of The Washington Football Team.

Gruden was replaced as head coach of the Raiders by Rich Bisaccia, the Raiders' assistant head coach and special teams coordinator. The "generic likeness" (presumably not really a "likeness," if it's generic) will take his place in Madden 22 in a future update.

This isn't the first time a major sports figure has been removed from a game. EA previously removed Manchester City defender Benjamin Mendy from FIFA after the player was charged with four counts of rape and one count of sexual assault. 

Joseph Knoop

Joseph Knoop is a freelance writer specializing in all things Fortnite at PC Gamer. Master of Creative Codes and Fortnite's weekly missions, Joe's always ready with a scoop on Boba Fett or John Wick or whoever the hell is coming to Fortnite this week. It's with a mix of relief and disappointment that he hasn't yet become a Fortnite skin himself. There's always next season...