Update: EA has told ESPN (opens in new tab) that the removal of Kaepernick's name from the song was a mistake caused by confusion over player rights. An unedited version of the song will replace the current version in an update on August 6.
Original story: Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick's name is mentioned in the song Big Bank by rapper YG , a song that features on the Madden 19 soundtrack. The lyric that contains Kaepernick's name, however, has been removed from in-game version of this song. This omission was noticed and recorded by a Twitter user (opens in new tab) yesterday:
bad enough @Kaepernick7 still not signed, but now they even edit his name out in this year’s @EAMaddenNFL during @BigSean verse, smh pic.twitter.com/3nvkB26z5rAugust 2, 2018
The original lyric, sung by Big Sean, is "You boys all cap, I'm more Colin Kaepernick," but as you can hear above, after "I'm more" there's nothing else. Kaepernick's name has been edited out in the same fashion that profanity is removed from songs in radio edits.
Kaepernick began protesting police violence and racial profiling in 2016 by first sitting, and then kneeling, during the NFL's pre-game performance of the national anthem. In 2017, Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers, making him a free agent, though he has not since been signed to a team despite being a far better quarterback than many others who were signed (opens in new tab). In November of 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance (opens in new tab) against the NFL claiming team owners colluded to blacklist him from the sport due to his protests. That's the most I can summarize about this entire situation without wanting to put my fist through a wall, so I'll stop there.
Some of this controversy was actually noted in Madden NFL 17 (opens in new tab), and Kaepernick appeared in Madden 18 as a free agent. Not only is he not present in Madden 19, but the NFL and/or Electronic Arts apparently don't even want his name spoken in a song. Which raises a simple question: why not just pick another song? I'm no music expert, but many songs, perhaps even most songs, don't mention Kaepernick by name even once.
It raises other questions as well, naturally, so I've emailed EA for comment. I'll update this story if and when I receive a response.