The CPR celebration is reportedly being removed from the Madden video game in the wake of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin going into cardiac arrest on the field last week.
According to TMZ, EA Sports will be eliminating the controversial celebration as part of an update to Madden NFL 23 in the coming days.
On Jan. 2, Hamlin collapsed on the field during Buffalo’s Monday Night Football game against the Cincinnati Bengals, requiring CPR to restore his heartbeat on the field. Amazingly, Hamlin has shown remarkable improvement, having since been released from the University of Cincinnati Medical Center and transferred to a Buffalo-area hospital where he’ll continue his recovery.
After the traumatizing scene during Monday Night Football shook the world last week, EA Sports rethought the CPR celebration in Madden. Recent editions of Madden have included the now distasteful celebration, where a player would lie on the field after scoring a touchdown and have a teammate come over to act as if they were performing CPR.
While EA Sports recognized the need to eliminate the CPR celebration from Madden, not all NFL players were as quick to reach the same conclusion. Sunday afternoon, members of the Pittsburgh Steelers recreated the celebration during their win against the Cleveland Browns. After the celebration was quickly slammed for appearing to mock Hamlin’s medical condition, Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith apologized.
“I just don’t want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything,” Highsmith told reporters according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Brian Batko. “Because I would never, ever, ever, ever want to do that intentionally, and I never ever would do that.”
“I just want people to know that I have nothing but love for Damar and his family. When that happened, I was shook for a couple days,” Highsmith added after the poorly-timed celebration. “Me and my wife, we were watching the game, we immediately saw it and intentionally started praying. Intentionally prayed for him, his parents, the doctors, the nurses.”
Hopefully, the CPR celebration has now been eliminated from both the Madden video game franchise and the NFL.