Colin Kaepernick will return to the “Madden NFL” video game series for the first time since 2016.
The former San Francisco 49er will appear as a free-agent quarterback in “Madden 21.” Fans can add Kaepernick to any NFL team in franchise mode or play him in Play Now.
“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback,” EA Sports said in a statement. “The team at EA Sports, along with millions of ‘Madden NFL’ fans, want to see him back in our game.”
Kaepernick debuted in the video game as a rookie in 2011 until his most recent appearance in 2016’s “Madden 17.”
“Madden 17” was released after a game between the 49ers and Houston Texans, in which Kaepernick knelt during the performance of the national anthem, as a protest against racial injustice and police brutality in America. The former quarterback has since remained out of the job.
According to EA Sports, the free agent was removed from “Madden NFL” because he was no longer included in the licensing contract with the NFL Players Association. His name was also removed from two songs in the “Madden 18” and “Madden 19” soundtracks.
“We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through ‘Madden NFL’ and worked through our past soundtrack mistakes,” the statement continues. “Knowing that our EA Sports experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make ‘Madden NFL’ a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football. We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.”
Off the field, Kaepernick has been working with filmmaker Ava DuVernay on a Netflix series based on his teenage years. He’s also finishing a memoir that will discuss his decision to protest on the field.
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