In a surprise move, EA Sports took to Twitter today to announce a new addition to Madden NFL 21: Colin Kaepernick. The former 49ers QB has been away from the NFL since 2017, and there had even previously been controversy with EA in regards to the QB.
EA posted on the Madden NFL twitter the following statement about Kaepernick returning to Madden
In Madden NFL 21, Colin Kaepernick is now available and he has an 81 OVR profile, which puts him in the center of the starting QB pile. Tweets in response to this have been a mix of praise and outrage over the decision
Who is Colin Kapernick?
For those who aren't aware Kaepernick gained notoriety in 2016 for sitting (for one game), and then subsequently kneeling, during the national anthem in protest. He stated he wasn't "going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people, and people of color." After the 2016 season concluded, Kaepernick wasn't signed to another team, and believes the league colluded to strong-arm him out leading to a lawsuit between the NFL and Kaepernick, which was settled in 2019.
Kaepernick's kneels marked the beginning of the sports national anthem protests, both in the NFL and beyond. After 2016, while he was unsigned Kapernick was not part of subsequent Madden NFL games, not being covered by the NFL Players Association License. The closest Kaepernick has come to appearing in Madden since then was his mention in song lyrics in Madden NFL 18 and 19, but those were initially censored before EA fixed the issue.
More recently, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has changed his tune on Kaepernick stating in August 2020, "I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to." This may be the reason why EA was able to add him, in addition to reaching a deal with Kaepernick to make use of his likeness in the game.
What do you think of the decision to return Colin Kaepernick to Madden NFL 21? Let us know in the comments below