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Kaepernick Makes His Madden Return, But His Return to the Football Field is Still Questionable

Colin Kaepernick makes his first Madden appearance since 2016, seen in-game on the Chicago Bears, accompanied by an official statement by Electronic Arts. Photos Courtesy of @bleacherreport & @brgridiron on Instagram via Electronic Arts

By Aidan McHenry, Staff Reporter

The creators of EA Madden officially added former San Francisco 49ers quarterback and civil rights activist, Colin Kaepernick, to EA Madden NFL 21 on Sept. 8, 2020.

He enters the exclusive National Football League (NFL) simulation football game with an 81 player rating overall and as “one of the top free agents in football,” according to EA’s announcement.

Kaepernick was unofficially ostracized from the NFL after kneeling in protest of the national anthem for awareness of police brutality against Black people. This ostracization came despite a six-year tenure with the 49ers, in which he led the team to the 2012 Super Bowl, and back- to- back playoff appearances, but he is ranked 81 in the NFL’s Top 100 in 2013 and 2014. 

Despite multiple collaborative efforts between Kaepernick and the NFL, he still does not have a roster spot.

He had an encounter with the Madden franchise before collaborating with them this year. In 2018, his name was censored out of the song “Big Bank” by YG, featuring Big Sean, Nicki Minaj, and 2 Chainz, in EA Madden NFL 19. 

The Madden creators censored the verse Big Sean rapped, “You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick.”

Kaepernick has become a catalyst in the Black Lives Matter Movement since his 2016 protest. Kneeling became widespread not only throughout the NFL but throughout the whole nation. 

Kaepernick fostered a much-needed culture shock for the United States. He later became a staple Nike athlete and rebuilt the foundation for what athletes have been doing to bring awareness to racial injustice following the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police on May 25, 2020. 

In EA’s announcement video, Kaepernick was dressed in a Chicago Bears uniform.

Also, Kaepernick worked on a signature touchdown celebration with EA that resembles a black power fist. Gamers will also get to experience the real graphics resembling the real face of the former football star after EA worked to scan Kaepernick’s face into the game. 

Gamers will be able to play with Kaepernick in the Franchise mode and Play Now game modes and will sport his signature number seven. 

According to their presser, EA places emphasis on Kaepernick being “a starting-caliber quarterback,” which critics tried to argue he was not after he lost his starting quarterback job about four years ago.