EA is bringing Colin Kaepernick back to Madden. Starting today, Kaepernick will be available as a QB who can be added to any team in Franchise mode in Madden NFL 21, which was released in late August. He can also be selected in the game’s Play Now mode. Kaepernick hasn’t been playable in a Madden game since 2016, according to The Undefeated.
“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 in a statement.
— Madden NFL 21 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 8, 2020
EA worked with Kaepernick to get the rights to use his likeness and to craft his appearance in the game, according to The Undefeated. EA apparently lost the rights to Kaepernick’s likeness when he was listed as a free agent since the company negotiates with the NFL Players Association. EA Sports specifically reached out to Kaepernick to bring him back for this year’s game.
Kaepernick hasn’t been signed by an NFL team since he started kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 to protest the way the United States “oppresses black people and people of color.” The NFL pushed back on Kaepernick’s protest for years and even voted to require players to stand during the anthem. In recent months, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has finally acknowledged the league’s mistake in trying to suppress players’ protests, saying the league “should have listened sooner.”