Nike announced today it has severed its endorsement deal with Ray Rice and EA Sports has pulled the suspended running back from its “Madden NFL 15″ as fallout continues from his domestic violence incident.
Nike spokesman KeJuan Wilkins confirmed to ESPN.com that as of noon ET Tuesday, the former Ravens running back, who had an active deal with the company, was no longer on the roster of the world’s largest sports shoe and apparel maker.
Rice now joins such company as Lance Armstrong, Justin Gatlin and Michael Vick among athletes who have been dropped by the brand. Armstrong and Gatlin lost their deals related to performance-enhancing drugs. Vick was released after he admitted to bankrolling a dogfighting operation. Nike has since signed Vick again.
Nike used Rice as recently as January to unveil to the press the special cold-weather gear it made for the Super Bowl in New Jersey. The company is also the official apparel provider of the league.
Rice will be removed from Madden through an online roster update, as the game has already been released.
“With Ray Rice’s indefinite suspension from the NFL, he will be removed from ‘Madden NFL 15,’” EA Sports communications director Julie Foster said. “This roster change will take place by this Friday.”
Rice lost another endorsement deal from a jump training program called VertiMax. VertiMax CEO Michael Wehrell initially stood by Rice in February, after the first video of him dragging his then-fiancee out of an Atlantic City casino elevator emerged. On Monday, Wehrell said his company decided to cut its association with Rice in June.
“After internal discussion about the events that transpired, we determined that a future relationship with Ray did not align with our goals as a company,” Wehrell said in a statement.
Rice jerseys were pulled off shelves at retailers Dick’s Sporting Goods and Modell’s on Monday and were no longer available for sale at the NFL Shop, the league’s official online store. On Tuesday, the Ravens announced they would allow fans to exchange Rice jerseys at some point, though the details of the program have not yet been specified.
Meanwhile, a Baltimore pizza parlor is offering a free pizza for anyone who turns in a Ray Rice jersey.
Hersh’s Pizza in Federal Hill posted the promotion to its Facebook before Rice’s contract was terminated. The shop ended its post with the hashtag “#CutRayRice.”
“Dear Lovers of Women, Not Hitting Women, Non Violence and Just Generally Being a Good Person, come trade your Ray Rice Ravens Jersey in for a free pizza at Hersh’s,” reads the statement. “These jerseys will save us money on toilet paper this week.”
The initial Facebook post was shared close to 300 times in about three hours. Hersh’s later announced that the shop would donate $2.70, after Rice’s No. 27, to the House of Ruth for every jersey it received. “Since there are only so many we can use for toilet paper,” a new Facebook post read.
Baltimore pub No Idea Tavern also announced on Twitter it would give a $10 bar tab to any customers who surrender a Rice jersey at the bar, ABC News reported.
Also, Rutgers University, Rice’s alma mater, removed him from the “Knights in the NFL” video shown before games.
“He is out of that,” Rutgers’ chief spokesman, Pete McDonough, told ABC News, adding that the school is culling through its other promotional material to make Rice won’t appear in any of them.