EA Sports apologized on Thursday night for the editing out of Colin Kaepernick’s name in the soundtrack of its “Madden 19” video game , calling it “an unfortunate mistake.” The gaming company also said that it will provide an update for the game that will add Kaepernick’s name back into the song.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack,” EA Sports said in the statement. “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 Madde 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.”
JUST IN: EA Sports says it didn’t mean to omit Colin Kaepernick’s name in YG’s song it licensed for use in Madden ‘19. Will add his name back in update. pic.twitter.com/ck8UhxI1fu
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) August 3, 2018
Twitter user “Mr. Changing Lives” caught the edit, and Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, publicly pondered why it happened.
Oh!!!!! @EAMaddenNFL who told you to edit Colin’s name out???? @nfl ? @NFLPA Curious minds want to know 👁 Thanks Jean for the info!!! If you guys see more shady stuff send it over. https://t.co/EIBQbaQ5SA
— NESSA (@nessnitty) August 2, 2018
Kaepernick’s name is omitted from Big Sean’s verse
The song, “Big Bank” by YG featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, is one of several songs featured on “Madden 19.” In the song, Big Sean raps the following lyrics:
Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and s***
You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick
In these words, Big Sean expresses his admiration for Kaepernick as someone who is focused on being true to himself instead of playing up his accomplishments, as explained by genius.com. Furthermore, Kaepernick connects back to the previous line. He led the Nevada Wolf Pack as the starting quarterback from 2007-2010. He holds program records for both passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
ProFootballTalk confirmed that Kaepernick’s name was omitted in an advance copy of the game, just as all the other words deemed too profane for a game rated “E” for everyone.
Big Sean tweeted about the omission in the song on Thursday afternoon, and said that nobody from his team approved the change.
It’s disappointing and appalling @NFL & @EA took @Kaepernick7’s name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he's not a curse, he's a gift! Nobody from my team approved any of this.
— Sean Don (@BigSean) August 2, 2018
Kaepernick thanked him shortly after, too.
Much love brother! Thank you for having my back!✊🏾 https://t.co/yKz3nBMiPb
— Colin Kaepernick (@Kaepernick7) August 2, 2018
Kaepernick also posted a video on Instagram of YG, where he explained that he, Big Sean, Nicki Minaj and 2 Chainz didn’t have anything to do with the edit, either.
Warning, the video contains explicit language.
A post shared by colin kaepernick (@kaepernick7) on Aug 2, 2018 at 6:01pm PDT
‘Madden 18’ also removed Kaepernick’s name from a song
Mike WiLL Made-It’s song “Bars of Soap” was featured on “Madden 18.” That song includes the line:
She be hopin’ that I take a knee like Kaepernick, yes
ProFootballtalk uncovered the words “like Kaepernick” were scrubbed from last year’s game, too. At that point, Kaepernick was actively looking for a team and was available as a free agent in the “Madden” game.
Kaepernick has a collusion case against the NFL
Kaepernick, 30, believes that several members of the NFL, including commissioner Roger Goodell and various team owners, colluded against him as he tried to find a team willing to sign him. Kaepernick did not play at all in 2017 as he continued to battle against the league. The NFL wants the case closed, but its recent policy of making players stand for the anthem (since delayed) could provide Kaepernick with more ammunition to prove that he was indeed colluded against.
Regardless, it’s strange for EA Sports to remove his name from the song as if it’s some sort of expletive. If his name was going to be an issue, developers simply could have chosen a different song. The game officially releases to the public on August 10.
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