EA Sports has apologised for censoring the name of polarising former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick from the Madden NFL 19 soundtrack.
Although the prominent social activist doesn’t appear in the game as a playable character (more on that later), Kaepernick’s name is muted from the YG song “Big Bank” within the Madden 19 soundtrack.
During the track, rapper Big Seans sings the lyric: “Feed me to the wolves, now I lead the pack and shit. You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick.” You can see how EA Sports chose to handle this in the tweet from @jeanclervil below:
Kaepernick, who is a prominent black rights campaigner, has remained unsigned by any of the 32 NFL teams since taking the bold decision to sit or kneel during the playing of the national anthem, prior to games.
For its part, EA says the censorship was a simple licensing misstep. It claims the error will be rectified in a forthcoming update that’ll restore Kaepernick’s name to the track in question.
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“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack,” EA said in a statement (via Engadget). “Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened.
“We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”
Whether this explanation will fly with gamers in Kaepernick’s corner remains to be seen. Regardless, it certainly isn’t a good look. The controversy comes at a time when the National Football League is threatening censure of players who choose to openly protest during the national anthem.
Incidentally, the president of the United States has referred to these American players expressing their 1st Amendment right to free speech as “sons of bitches” who “shouldn’t be in the country.”
Will this affect your decision to buy Madden 19? Or do you buy EA Sports’ explanation? Let us know @TrustedReviews on Twitter.