The writing is on the wall for ex-Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, who is in the middle of a public flailing for domestic violence against his fiancee-turned-wife Janay Palmer. After video surfaced of him punching her in the face in an Atlantic City elevator this past February, the Ravens recently terminated Rice’s contract, but that’s not where the punishment ends. Nike is also cutting ties with Rice, as is game company EA Sports, who is removing Rice from its latest entry in the revered Madden football sim series, effective September 12.
As far as I’m concerned, being featured in the Madden games in any capacity, whether you’re gracing the cover or simply being in the in-game roster, is a privilege, not a right, and Rice clearly doesn’t deserve that privilege. Neither do any of these five other players.
Offense/charges: Funding and participating in unlawful dog-fighting/gambling rings
Consequences: Three years in Virginia federal state prison.
Vick, who was in consideration to be on the cover of Madden ’12 at the time, was indicted for his involvement in the fighting, torturing, and executing of several dogs across the Southeast United States. He eventually declared bankruptcy in 2008 and is still paying off creditors and others to this day. Many thought he should’ve been terminated from the NFL for his heinous crime, but Vick is currently playing for the Jets. To some, that’s punishment enough.
Offenses/charges: Illegal possession of a firearm, personal conduct violations, serving alcohol to minors, drunk driving
Consequences: Suspension, jail time, house arrest, and death
A talented wide receiver who signed with the Cincinnati Bengals in 2005, Henry drew attention for all the wrong reasons when it came to the law. His offenses were varied, and his promising but short career came to an end in 2009 when he died from blunt force trauma suffered from falling out of the back of a pick-up truck.
Offenses/charges: First-degree murder
Consequences: Indefinite jail time
Once the tight-end for the New England Patriots, Hernandez was the prime suspect in the murder of Odin Lloyd last year and taken into custody by the Massachusetts State Police. He’s currently being held in Bristol County Jail without bail.
Offenses/charges: Aggravated assault with a firearm
Consequences: Paid bond
Washington Washington Football Team free safety Sean Taylor was charged with aggravated assault after he drew a gun on a person in an argument over ATVs. He died in 2007 from a gunshot wound that severed his femoral artery.
Offenses/charges: Assaulting a police officer, probation violation, a lot of gun charges
Consequences: Jail time, house arrest, temporary league suspension
Originally playing for the Cincinnati Bears, Johnson has dealt with a handful of felony gun charges over the years. After serving jail sentences and undergoing house arrest, the NFL suspended him for half a season in 2007, even though his legal problems were mostly over.
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