Touchdown celebrations are a huge part of the NFL experience. Some are creative while others are just downright funny. However, a recent event has made one particular touchdown celebration sensitive, and EA Sports will be removing it from Madden 23 in response.
During a recent Monday Night Football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and Buffalo Bills, safety Demar Hamlin collapsed on the field after tackling another player. Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest and received CPR from the medical team.
Fortunately, the quick response of the medical personnel restored the player’s heartbeat and he was successfully transported to the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Hamlin’s condition has greatly over the past week and he has been moved to a hospital in Buffalo where he will be undergoing more tests.
In response to the medical emergency encountered by Hamlin and subsequent clips of it being posted online, EA Sports has decided to remove the CPR touchdown celebration. Previously, players could celebrate a touchdown by laying on the ground while one teammate simulates giving lifesaving CPR and another jolts him with a defibrillator.
"EA Sports is taking steps to remove the celebration from Madden NFL 23 via an update in the coming days," an EA spokesman told CBS Sports. EA has not yet announced when the update will arrive.
Interestingly, during a recent game between the Pittsburgh Steelers and Cleveland Browns, a player did the CPR celebration in a live game just a week after Damar Hamlin suffered a heart attack. Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith did the CPR celebration on a teammate after getting a sack on the Browns’ Deshaun Watson. Highsmith apologized for his actions on the field after the game.
"I just don't want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything [intentional]," Highsmith said in an interview with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never ever would do that."
When Hamlin woke up in the hospital, the first thing he asked doctors was the result of the game. The NFL decided to cancel the game between the Bengals and Bills. The Buffalo Bills did manage to win their next game defeating the New England Patriots out of the playoffs. The Bills are entering the playoffs as the No. 2 seed in the AFC.