Speed Reads

game on

Colin Kaepernick returns to Madden NFL 21 because fans 'want to see him back'

Colin Kaepernick is returning to the NFL — or the Madden NFL video game series, at least.

EA Sports announced on Tuesday that the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback has been added to Madden NFL 21. This is Kaepernick's first time appearing in the Madden video game franchise since 2016, Axios reports.

"The team at EA Sports, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game," EA Sports said, going on to say his inclusion would allow players "to express their hopes for the future of football."

Kaepernick in 2016 kickstarted a movement to kneel during the national anthem at NFL games in protest of police brutality and racial injustice. He is now a free agent. The Undefeated reports that, according to EA Sports, Madden "lost the rights to the quarterback's likeness" after he "was not included in the group licensing agreement, which is negotiated through the NFL Players Association," and the game publisher also says it mistakenly excluded his name from two songs on Madden 18 and Madden 19.

"We've had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and worked through our past soundtrack mistakes," EA sports said on Tuesday.

In light of the nationwide protests against police brutality and racial injustice sparked this year by the police killing of George Floyd, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell last month said, "I wish we had listened earlier, Kaep, to what you were kneeling about and what you were trying to bring attention to."