Colin Kaepernick's name was removed from a song lyric on the Madden 19 soundtrack (Updated)

Kaepernick in Madden 17

Kaepernick in Madden 17

Update: EA has told ESPN 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 yesterday:

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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. In November of 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance 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, 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.

Christopher Livingston
Senior Editor

Chris started playing PC games in the 1980s, started writing about them in the early 2000s, and (finally) started getting paid to write about them in the late 2000s. Following a few years as a regular freelancer, PC Gamer hired him in 2014, probably so he'd stop emailing them asking for more work. Chris has a love-hate relationship with survival games and an unhealthy fascination with the inner lives of NPCs. He's also a fan of offbeat simulation games, mods, and ignoring storylines in RPGs so he can make up his own.