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Friedman: 4 Athletes Who Were Kicked Off Video Game Covers

By Daniel Friedman
» More Columns

In light of recent events surrounding Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane, EA Sports made the easy (or difficult, depending on who you ask) decision to remove him from the cover of NHL 16. The game ships next month, on September 15.

Kane is not the first athlete to be taken off an NHL cover, nor the first to be taken off any sports video game. Here are four others who also were:

1. Dany Heatley (NHL 2004)

Dany Heatley
Dany Heatley (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

After a car crash resulted in the death of teammate Dan Snyder, EA pulled the plug and replaced Heatley with Colorado Avalanche legend Joe Sakic. It should've come in better circumstances, but it was about damn time that Sakic graced the front of a hockey video game. (Teammate Pete Forsberg was the featured athlete in NHL 98.)

2. Joe Thornton (NHL 2004)

Joe Thornton
Joe Thornton (Photo by Charles Laberge/Getty Images)

Just when you thought EA Sports had its hands full with the Heatley situation, it was actually the second time they'd struck out on a cover athlete for NHL 2004. Thornton was supposed to be the original cover boy, but was dropped after being accused of assaulting two police officers.

3. Tiger Woods (EA Sports PGA Tour Franchise)

Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods of the United States reacts on the 18th green during the first round of the 115th U.S. Open Championship at Chambers Bay on June 18, 2015 in University Place, Washington. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

It was a long time coming, and it probably should've happened a few years ago, but EA finally replaced Tiger with rising superstar Rory McIlroy for its PGA Tour franchise. Woods' reputation had just gotten worse and worse as news about his personal affairs continued to surface. Rory McIlroy PGA Tour made its debut in July 2015.

4. Hulk Hogan (WWE 2K16)

Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan attends a Cleveland Cavaliers game in November 2014 (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)

Hogan was reported to have gone on a racist rant during a sex tape that was filmed back in 2007. WWE severed all ties with him and 2K Sports followed suit by announcing he wouldn't be in the game.

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