In the wake of Damar Hamlin's life-threatening injury, EA Sports is in the process of removing CPR-style touchdown celebrations from its Madden video games.
A spokesperson for EA Sports told TMZ that the virtual end zone dance would be removed as part of an update to "Madden NFL 23" in the next few days. The animation has been popular among Madden gamers this year, allowing player avatars to act as if they are administering CPR to others after they score a touchdown.
However, many are viewing the CPR-style celebrations as insensitive and crass after Hamlin needed life-saving efforts following his collapse during the Buffalo Bills vs Cincinnati Bengals game last week.
On Sunday (January 8), the Pittsburg Steelers came under fire after players mimicked CPR in celebration of a sack on Cleveland Brown quarterback Deshaun Watson.
Steelers linebacker Alex Highsmith clarified on Monday (January 9) that the CPR-style celebration was done unintentionally following widespread backlash.
"I just don't want people to think of me that way and think I was doing anything [intentional]," Highsmith said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "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," he continued. "When that happened, I was shook for a couple days. 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."
"Because me and her, we're both followers of Christ. We both believe that prayer is powerful, and I'm just thankful for the miraculous work God has done with Damar's life. I just want people to know that there was nothing intentional about that. It was never planned. None of that."
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