The online sports betting site says the late actor's Super Bowl spot with Rob Gronkowski will be changed "out of respect for the family"
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Carl Weathers,” the online sports betting platform said in a statement to PEOPLE Friday. “Throughout his life, Carl was an iconic talent who had a profound impact on the people he worked with on and off the screen.”
“FanDuel was fortunate to have had an opportunity to work with him during our Super Bowl campaign,” the company continued. “We are adjusting our campaign accordingly out of respect for the family during their time of grief.”
The company released a teaser for the commercial on Jan. 9. It begins with former NFL tight end Rob Gronkowski going to the “land of second chances” as he plans to attempt a field goal kick on Super Bowl Sunday. Weathers rides up to him on a motorcycle, vowing that Gronkowski will not miss.
Last year, Gronkowski, 34, missed the field goal. If he made the 2023 FanDuel Kick of Destiny, fans would get a share of $10 million in bonus bets to those who already had money on the championship game. The company gave away the money anyway, even though Gronkowski missed.
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"We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of Carl Weathers," said the family, adding, "Carl was an exceptional human being who lived an extraordinary life. Through his contributions to film, television, the arts and sports, he has left an indelible mark and is recognized worldwide and across generations. He was a beloved brother, father, grandfather, partner and friend."
Weathers was a former NFL linebacker who rose to fame as Apollo Creed in the original Rocky movie opposite Sylvester Stallone. He also starred alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in 1987’s Predator. His role as Greef Karga on the Disney+ Star Wars series The Mandalorian earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination for outstanding guest actor in a drama series in 2021.
Super Bowl LVIII between the Kansas City Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers kicks off at 6:30 p.m. ET on Feb. 11.
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