Lions legend discontinues relationship with Madden video game

Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders
Detroit Lions, Barry Sanders / Gregory Shamus/GettyImages

Just a few days after making an appearance at the 2024 NFL Draft, Detroit Lions legend and former running back Barry Sanders took to social media to make a big announcement.

For years now, Sanders' name and likeness has been tied into the ultra-popular video game Madden by EA Sports.

Unfortunately for fans of the game, Sanders will be discontinuing his relationship with the franchise and Madden will no longer be allowed to use Sanders in the game.

Barry Sanders shuts down any anticipation of being in one of multiple games in the near future

Back in 2013, Sanders was featured on the cover of Madden's 25th anniversary game. For a while now, he's been a player that people can use on their Ultimate Team. With the Hall of Famer discontinuing his relationship with the franchise, he will no longer be an option on those Ultimate Teams.

As noted by The Detroit Free Press, Sanders isn't the first big name to be uninvolved with the video game:

Sanders announcing he won't allow EA Sports to use his name, image and likeness doesn't come as a full surprise, nor is he the first former, or current, NFL player or coach has done it.As noted by CBS Sports back in 2019, former New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick was not incorporated into the game during his years in Foxborough as he was not part of the NFL Coaches Association, which EA Sports has a contract with to use coaches in the popular video game.

It's pretty interesting to note that this isn't the first time something like this has happened, although for such a big name and popular player to come off the board as a potential option is a monumental shift for hardcore Madden fans out there.

Also as noted by The Detroit Free Press, this also means Sanders will not be appearing in the 'College Football 25' game that's supposed to launch later on in the year. Lions fans and Madden fans alike will need to find themselves a new legend for those Ultimate Teams and look forward to playing with other notable names in the upcoming collegiate game, as well.