Colin Kaepernick’s name is mentioned in the song “Big Bank” by YG, and that track is featured in “Madden NFL 19.”
But Kaepernick’s name cannot be heard in the version of “Big Bank” that appears on the soundtrack of advance copies of the video game. It has been edited out, as many people have pointed out, just like a curse word.
EA Sports, which makes the popular “Madden NFL” series, issued an apology Thursday to Kaepernick, YG and Big Sean — the featured rapper whose verse includes the reference to the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback — as well as the league, its fans and players of the game.
The company added that Kaepernick’s name will have been edited back into the song by the time the game hits shelves next week.
“We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack,” EA Sports stated. “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 that reference again. We meant no disrespect.”
A late-night tweet from the Twitter handle @jeanclervil on Wednesday drew attention to the omission of Kaepernick’s name from the game’s soundtrack.
Big Sean tweeted Thursday that he never approved that edit of the song: “It’s disappointing and appalling @NFL & @EA took @Kaepernick7’s name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he's not a curse, he's a gift!”
Kaepernick responded to Big Sean via Twitter: “Much love brother! Thank you for having my back!”
Pro Football Talk reported Thursday that this isn’t the first time Kaepernick’s name has been removed from a song for “Madden NFL” — last year’s version of the game featured the track “Bars of Soap” by Mike WiLL Made-It but with the lyrics “like Kaepernick” edited out.
Kaepernick started a movement — and a major controversy — during the 2016 season by refusing to stand during the national anthem and instead kneel as a protest against social injustice. After opting out of his contract with the 49ers the following offseason, Kaepernick hasn’t been able to find a job in the league.