Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders discontinuing ties with EA Sports, Madden

The newest version of Madden won't be released for another few months, but Detroit Lions fans and Madden users have already received a shakeup to it.

On Tuesday, the former Lions running back Barry Sanders announced on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he is discontinuing his involvement with EA Sports of using his name, image and likeness.

"Hey @EASPORTS_MUT @EASPORTS @EAMaddenNFL games & fans....Breaking News. I have decided after many years to discontinue my relationship with the brand & the products," Sanders wrote on X. "I apologize for those that were expecting me in the games. I leave you with #CyberBarry @Lions @NFL @NFLPA."

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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.

With Sanders pulling his ties with EA Sports and its entities, it means Lions and NFL fans won't be able to use him on their Madden Ultimate Team any longer starting with this summer's newest release of Madden. It also likely shuts down any possibility of Sanders, the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner, being incorporated in the highly anticipated "College Football 25" video game that will come out later this spring, as it is being developed and released by EA Sports.

Sanders was the cover of "EA Sports Madden 25" back in 2013, when the video game company celebrated 25 years of the video game.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Barry Sanders announces cutting ties with EA Sports, Madden