Former Bengals all-star running back Tony Davis, on behalf of over 6,000 retired NFL players, have filed a suit against Electronic Arts over the use of their likenesses in Madden NFL 09.
According to the players, Madden didn't use "classic" players' actual names or numbers, but did swipe the actual stats of well-known players. According to the court filing:
"EA's commercial exploitation of retired NFL players is both blatant and prolific, as the 2009 version of the Madden NFL video game contained over 140 'historic teams' containing likenesses of thousands of retired NFL players. EA was fully aware of its use of the retired players' likenesses was without authorization and that a license was needed."
"The only significant detail that EA changes from the real-life retired NFL players is their jersey number. Despite EA's 'scrambling' of the retired NFL players' numbers, the games are designed so that consumers of the Madden NFL video game franchise will have no difficulty identifying who the 'historic' players are."
Madden 09 allows players to edit the names of classic players too, essentially giving you the right to re-create the actual names of classic players, should you choose to.
If you'd like, you can look at the suit, here.