Entertainment & Life

Why a video game maker is apologizing over a music ‘mistake’ involving Colin Kaepernick

Former NFL quarterback and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018 in Amsterdamon April 21. His name has been edited out of a song on “Madden NFL 19.”
Former NFL quarterback and social justice activist Colin Kaepernick received the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award for 2018 in Amsterdamon April 21. His name has been edited out of a song on “Madden NFL 19.” The Associated Press

The newest version of the “Madden NFL” video games hasn’t been released yet, but it’s already getting a lot of attention for something that won’t be in it.

“Madden NFL 19” isn’t set to be released until next week, but a tweet about free-agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick has set off a buzz on social media.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">bad enough <a href="https://twitter.com/Kaepernick7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kaepernick7</a> still not signed, but now they even edit his name out in this year’s <a href="https://twitter.com/EAMaddenNFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EAMaddenNFL</a> during <a href="https://twitter.com/BigSean?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@BigSean</a> verse, smh <a href="https://t.co/3nvkB26z5r">pic.twitter.com/3nvkB26z5r</a></p>&mdash; Mr. Changing Lives (@jeanclervil) <a href="https://twitter.com/jeanclervil/status/1024903073498640384?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 2, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

The post from Twitter user Mr. Changing Lives gives a snippet of one of the tracks used in the game. YG’s “Big Bank” features a verse from fellow rapper Big Sean.

“Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and (expletive)/You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick/I’m rare as affordable health care/Or going to wealth from welfare.”

The tweet shows that Kaepernick’s name has been edited out on the game.

Since the former 49ers quarterback’s name isn’t being spoken, several Twitter users are speaking out over it, including the man who rapped the verse.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">It’s disappointing and appalling <a href="https://twitter.com/NFL?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@NFL</a> &amp; <a href="https://twitter.com/EA?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@EA</a> took <a href="https://twitter.com/Kaepernick7?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@Kaepernick7</a>’s name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he&#39;s not a curse, he&#39;s a gift! Nobody from my team approved any of this.</p>&mdash; Sean Don (@BigSean) <a href="https://twitter.com/BigSean/status/1025146193637036032?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 2, 2018</a></blockquote><script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Big Sean’s post and several others have been retweeted by Kaepernick, who posted in response to the rapper’s tweet: “Much love brother! Thank you for having my back!” with a black fist at the end.

According to TMZ, the song’s main rapper was upset about the edit and was trying to find out why it happened.

Darren Rovell of ESPN and ABC on Thursday afternoon tweeted a release from Electronic Arts Sports which called the omission an “unfortunate mistake.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">JUST IN: EA Sports says it didn’t mean to omit Colin Kaepernick’s name in YG’s song it licensed for use in Madden ‘19. Will add his name back in update. <a href="https://t.co/ck8UhxI1fu">pic.twitter.com/ck8UhxI1fu</a></p>&mdash; Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) <a href="https://twitter.com/darrenrovell/status/1025171875050258432?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">August 3, 2018</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

“Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have the rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks,” the release states. It went on to apologize to Kaepernick, YG, Big Sean, the NFL and all players and fans, and reads that Kaepernick’s name will not be censored when an update is made Monday. “We meant no disrespect.”

This isn’t the first time his name was scrubbed from the video game series. Pro Football Talk reports that Kaepernick’s name was also omitted from Mike WiLL Made-It’s song “Bars of Soap” in last year’s edition.

Kaepernick, who began silently protesting while the national anthem was played before games in August 2016, has not played in the NFL since the end of the 2016-17 season. He and the 49ers parted ways in March 2017.

“Madden NFL 19” is available Aug. 10 on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Origin, a platform for PC games.

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