Despite not having an NFL contract, controversial athlete Colin Kaepernick is being included in the Madden ‘21 video game, with some shockingly good stats and some nods to his liberal activism.
This is Kaepernick’s first appearance in the Madden football game series since 2016. He was last playing as a quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2016 season, but insists he is still looking to return to the field, which technically makes him a “free agent,” as the game describes him.
Kaepernick gets a special introduction in the game, welcoming him back into the NFL. He has also been given his own in-game celebratory move, which sees his character throwing up a Black Power fist after he scores a touchdown.
“Following a big play or touchdown, you will see Kaepernick raise his fist as a symbol of Black Power when you choose to celebrate with him, as he did during his last season,” EA Sports said in their announcement.
Colin Kaepernick is in #Madden21 now and has a personalized intro when he enters the game. pic.twitter.com/4YgAgVwxFc
When Colin Kaepernick scores on Madden 21, his signature celebration is a Black Power fist@BRGaming 🎮 @brgridiron(via @jordanheckff)pic.twitter.com/GDZu8rS05o
Kaepernick’s name all but guarantees a mixed response, given the extremely divided reactions to his famous decision to take a knee during the singing of the US national anthem — and some have looked at his position in the new iteration of the Madden game and questioned how much EA Sports is building him up.
“Madden has added Colin Kaepernick to the newest version of the game, and he’s rated higher than former NFL MVP Cam Newton and rookie of the year Kyler Murray…This is insanity,” Daily Caller entertainment reporter David Hookstead tweeted in reaction to Kaepernick’s 81 rating in the game, which makes him one of the most attractive quarterbacks, stats-wise.
Others similarly scratched their heads at Kaepernick’s position.
Putting aside politics, etc… this is insane for another reason:Madden has free agent Colin Kaepernick’s overall rating at 81Cam Newton, the starting QB for the New England Patriots, has an overall rating of 78https://t.co/feySVFraPShttps://t.co/o5PBMy0A9r
Proving that even sports video games have to be woke now, Madden put Colin Kaepernick in this year’s edition of the game & ranked him higher than half the quarterbacks in the league, including Kyler Murray, Jared Goff, Cam Newton and Ryan Tannehill. https://t.co/VEY0G8KGGX
EA Sports insists the high rating, which puts him in the top 15 quarterbacks in the game, is based on his previous performance as well as “data-driven simulations.”
Kaepernick fans, however, took the announcement to celebrate and slam the NFL.
“So the makers of Madden are more courageous than NFL owners,” Atlantic journalist Jemele Hill, who previously worked for ESPN, tweeted.
Colin Kaepernick making it back into Madden, before the NFL, is just another example of Black people being given a bunch of worthless symbolism instead of the real change that was demanded.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in June he encouraged teams to sign Kaepernick, 32, to restart his athletic career.
“If he wants to resume his career in the NFL, then obviously it would take a team to make that decision,” he said. “I welcome that, support a club making that decision and encourage them to do that.”
Kaepernick settled a collusion grievance with the NFL in 2019 after accusing the league of keeping teams from signing him following his leaving the 49ers and ensuing controversy surrounding his kneeling activism.
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