EA Sports announced Wednesday that it is removing Jon Gruden’s likeness from its “Madden NFL 22″ video game after reports that the former Las Vegas Raiders coach used racist, homophobic and misogynistic language in emails.
In a tweet, the company said Wednesday a generic likeness will be used in Gruden’s place.
“EA Sports is committed to taking action in maintaining a culture of inclusion and equity,” the game developer and publisher said in a statement Wednesday. “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, 58, resigned Monday as the Raiders coach after The New York Times reported earlier in the evening that he frequently used misogynistic and homophobic language directed at Commissioner Roger Goodell and others in the NFL.
The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that Gruden, who was a broadcaster with ESPN in 2011, sent an email on July 21, 2011, to Bruce Allen, president of the Washington Football Team. The email by Gruden, who was head coach at Tampa Bay during the early 2000s when Allen was the Buccaneers’ general manager, referenced NFL players union head DeMaurice Smith, who is Black. Gruden’s email stated that “Dumboriss Smith has lips the size of michellin (sic) tires,” according to the newspaper, which reviewed the email.
The emails were written between 2011 and 2018, The Wall Street Journal and Times reported.
The day after Gruden resigned, Tampa Bay announced that Gruden’s name would be removed from the team’s ring of honor at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, WFLA reported. Gruden coached at Tampa Bay from 2002 to 2008 and led the team to its first Super Bowl title after the 2002 season. He was inducted into the team’s ring of honor in December 2017.
“The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have advocated for purposeful change in the areas of race relations, gender equality, diversity and inclusion for many years,” the team said in a statement Tuesday. “While we acknowledge Jon Gruden’s contributions on the field, his actions go against our core values as an organization. Therefore, he will no longer continue to be a member of the Buccaneers Ring of Honor.”
Gruden became head coach of the Raiders in 2018, and was in the fourth year of a 10-year, $100 million contract with the team, the Times reported.
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