NEW YORK (AP) – EA Sports dropped Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane from promoting and appearing on the cover of its “NHL 16” video game because he is under police investigation.
The popular video game company announced its decision on its Twitter account Wednesday.
“In light of the ongoing investigation involving Patrick Kane, he will no longer be a spokesperson for the launch of EA Sports ‘NHL 16,’” the company said. “He will not appear on the EA Sports ‘NHL 16’ cover nor participate in other EA Sports ‘NHL 16′ promotional activities.”
Kane was to appear alongside Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews in what was supposed to be the first time two NHL players have been featured on the cover. In June, the two stars were key players in leading the Blackhawks to their third Stanley Cup championship in six years.
Kane’s lawyer, Paul Cambria, and agent, Pat Brisson, did not return messages seeking comment.
EA Sports’ decision comes less than a week after Hamburg police announced Kane is under investigation for something that may have happened at the player’s offseason home outside Buffalo on Aug. 2.
Police Chief Gregory Wickett would only say that police are gathering information and awaiting forensic results.
Police are looking into something that happened between Kane and a woman in her 20s, a person familiar with the investigation said earlier this week on condition of anonymity because authorities have not revealed that detail.
It’s unclear how much Kane was to be paid for promoting “NHL 16.”
Kane maintains a sponsorship commitment with Bauer Hockey Equipment, but that could come under review, Performance Sports Group spokesman Steve Jones said in an email to The Associated Press.
“Patrick Kane is currently a Bauer athlete,” Jones wrote. “But we are obviously aware of the investigation announced late last week by the Hamburg Police Department, and we are closely monitoring the situation.”
The EA Sports website on Wednesday afternoon still featured a photo of Kane and Toews together. However, EA Sports NHL’s Twitter account featured a picture of just Toews.
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