EA Sports is in the middle of removing a Madden NFL 23 celebration that mimics a player’s avatar performing CPR on a teammate, the sports video game publisher announced. The animation will be taken out through an update in the coming days, ensuring respect for the situation of Buffalo Bills defensive back Damar Hamlin.
Hamlin, a Pittsburgh native, went into cardiac arrest during his team’s matchup at Cincinnati last week, which required him to be revived on the field at the Bengals’ Paycor Stadium. He was rushed to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center in critical condition but has made a recovery since then. The rest of that game, which had playoff implications, was postponed and later canceled.
Even with Hamlin regaining his health, EA Sports believes it would be better not to keep the celebration in Madden NFL 23, especially after Pittsburgh Steelers players DeMarvin Leal and Alex Highsmith faced backlash for mocking chest compressions following a sack late in their team’s win over Cleveland Sunday. Highsmith apologized when asked about the celebration Monday.
The league’s community showed its support for the injured player through well wishes on social media, signs at games, and donations to Hamlin’s Chasing M’s foundation. Meanwhile, players sported shirts with Hamlin’s name and number on them and teams outlined the No. 3s on their fields.