Kaepernick’s name censored from song on ‘Madden’ game

The Guardian

Sat, Aug 04, 2018 - Page 16

The erasure of Colin Kaepernick from the NFL took an unusual turn on Thursday when it was revealed that the quarterback’s name has been censored from a song on the soundtrack of Electronic Arts (EA) Sports’ forthcoming Madden NFL 19 video game.

The song, Big Bank, the second single off Compton rapper YG’s latest album featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, is one of 30 tracks that appears on this year’s soundtrack for the best-selling gridiron simulation, which is to be released on Friday next week.

The third verse on the uncensored version of the song includes a broadly innocuous lyrical reference to Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback whose protest of racial injustice and police brutality have left him jobless since his contract expired after the 2016 season.

“You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick” Big Sean raps.

However, a video shared on Twitter and given wider exposure after it was retweeted by Kaepernick’s girlfriend, Nessa Diab, showed the “clean” version of the track as it sounds in the game, with Kaepernick’s name scrubbed from the recording in the same way as if it were profanity or a racial slur.

Pro Football Talk confirmed that Kaepernick’s name was removed from the track on their advance copy of the game.

EA Sports did not immediately return a request for comment.

Former Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman told ESPN last year that Kaepernick’s remaining unsigned has little to do with the quality of his play and everything to do with his national anthem protest of last year.

A 2013 feature on the Madden franchise published by CNN reported that EA, which has published a new installment to the Madden series every year since 1990, pays the NFL and the players’ union US$50 million to be the exclusive video game licensee.

The series has generated up to US$4 billion in revenue with more than 100 million copies sold, the report added.