EA Sports explain Colin Kaepernick inclusion in Madden NFL 21 game as fans react
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Colin Kaepernick has been included as a player in the new Madden NFL 21 game, depsite not playing in the NFL for four years.
The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been at the centre of much controversy in recent times after kneeling during the US national anthem to highlight racial inequality in 2016.
NFL teams subsequently refused to sign him but support for the fight against racism and police brutality has since taken off in the US and all around the world.
In October 2017, Kaepernick filed a grievance with the NFL, alleging that the league and its owners had colluded to blackball him, to which a settlement was reached.
Today Kaepernick still remains unsigned and has not featured as a player in Madden since entering free agency in 2017.
But EA Sports have announced that this is about to change, and as of this week Madden NFL 21 players can play with Kaepernick in exhibition games and add him to any NFL team in the game’s Franchise mode.
"Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-calibre quarterback," a statement from EA Sports read on Tuesday.
"We want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin's position and talent, rates him as a starting quarterback, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football.
“We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.”
The NFL has changed its position on protests during Kaepernick's absence from the league and in May 2018, the organisation introduced a rule which meant teams would be fined if players kneeled during the national anthem.
In June this year, the organisation made a U-turn, saying that players should be allowed to protest during the national anthem.
This came shortly after the police killing of George Floyd sparked worldwide Black Lives Matter protests, demonstrations that sought to raise awareness of the same kinds of societal issues that Kaepernick had called attention to in his own protests.
A group of NFL athletes subsequently released a video in which they called on the league to publicly “admit wrong in silencing our players from peacefully protesting.”
Kaepernick is now playable in Madden NFL 21’s franchise mode, which will receive three updates beginning in November. The game is currently available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
- Colin Kaepernick
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