Update 7:18 p.m. CDT – We received comment from EA.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. 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.”
The original story from 5:04 p.m. CDT is as follows:
Colin Kaepernick is a name that still ends up in a lot of conversations about football, despite the former quarterback not actually having played in a number of years. Kaepernick became the center of a national conversation about protesting during the anthem when he took a knee to protest racial injustice in the country. As such, Kaepernick himself became a controversial figure among those who disagreed with him, and both he and players inspired by him have drawn the often capricious attention of president Trump’s Twitter account.
With the release of Madden NFL 19, no one expected Kaepernick to be playable, having been a free agent for some time now with most NFL teams shying away from signing him (which Kaepernick has alleged is collusive in nature). Which makes it all the more odd that it appears EA has gone the extra mile in removing Kaepernick completely, going so far as to censor his name from a lyric in one of the game’s EA Trax.
This was pointed out by Twitter user @jeanclervil, who took a video of the game’s version of “Big Bank” by YG. The song features parts from Nicki Minaj, 2 Chainz, and most relevantly Big Sean, whose lyrics include the line “You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick.” That line is clearly missing from the Madden version.
— Mr. Changing Lives (@jeanclervil) August 2, 2018
The omitted line has since been verified using pre-release copies. As Waypoint points out, the radio edit of the song is not missing that lyric, meaning it is at least fairly unique to Madden NFL 19.
We have reached out to EA for comment and clarification, but did not receive anything back by the time of writing.
Madden NFL 19 is releasing on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on August 10. You can find our review of the game right here.