Following murder charges laid on June 26, EA Sports has made the decision to remove former New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez from the player rosters of both Madden 25 and NCAA 14. Hernandez has pleaded not guilty when charged with the murder of semi-pro footballer Odin Lloyd, but EA Sports and his former teams are rushing to sever ties with the athlete.
We have made a decision to remove Aaron Hernandez from Madden NFL 25 and NCAA Football 14. 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 image of Hernandez will be removed via a Title Update in the near future.
Simple trades are the industry’s way of dealing with this sort of (unusual) event: More than 2,500 Patriots fans were invited to return their No. 81 Hernandez jerseys – the team organised a free exchange policy to simply trade the jersey for that of another player. (More than 30% were children’s sizes, as parents distance themselves from the disgraced player.)
In NCAA 14, Hernandez was attached to the Florida Gators, while in Madden 25 he would have been a free agent as he had been released by the Patriots. Now though, in the world of EA Sports, he never existed.