The song, “Big Bank” by YG featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean and Nicki Minaj, has a verse in which rapper Big Sean gives a shout out to Kaepernick. The original lyric, “You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick” has the free agent football quarterback’s name very clearly edited out.
In addition to being a talented athlete, Kaepernick became known for his peaceful protest in 2016, when he kneeled during the playing of the national anthem at the start of an NFL game. The gesture was a part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which protests violence against black Americans as a result of racial inequality and police brutality.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.”
Big Sean also commented on the matter, calling EA’s decision “appalling” and stating that “nobody from my team approved any of this.”
The controversy is yet another concern for developer and publisher EA, as it was recently criticized by some for the inclusion of women in “Battlefield V” — and criticized by many for the prevalence of microtransactions in “Star Wars: Battlefront II” earlier this year.
“Madden NFL 19” is set for Aug. 19 release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.