The studio announced Kaepernick’s inclusion in the game on Twitter with a lengthy statement that explained how the collaboration came to be. It also acknowledged it’s “past mistakes” and revealed that the quarterback is now available via a free update worldwide.
“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA Sports, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game,” EA wrote. “We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL worked through our past soundtrack mistakes.”
Check out the tweet below.
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 8, 2020
The “mistakes” that EA mentioned seem to refer to the studio’s censoring of Kaepernick’s name in a song on the game’s soundtrack in 2019 since the player was no longer in the games.
Colin Kaepernick entered free agency in 2017, and was subsequently excluded from the Madden NFL games since. NFL teams had refused to sign the quarterback after he famously kneeled during the national anthem at a 2016 game in protest over police brutality.
However, the sports organisation has since acknowledged the error of its ways, although Kaepernick has still not been signed by any team. Kaepernick was not allowed to appear in the Madden NFL games because the game’s character likeness rights had belonged to the NFL Players Association.