Madden NFL 21 is rolling out a number of updates over the coming weeks. Starting today though, one quarterback will be donning his pads and helmet again, finally returning to the virtual field.
Electronic Arts confirmed that Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco QB, is now a playable quarterback in Madden NFL 21. Working with the free agent, the Madden team has included him as a potential quarterback in Franchise mode, and you can also line him up under center in the Play Now mode as well.
"Knowing that our EA Sports experience are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin's position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football," read a statement from EA Sports.
Madden has had a rough history with the quarterback; in 2018, it was discovered that EA has censored the lyrics of a song that mentioned him by name. The reference was eventually restored, though due to his status as free agent meant he was not including in the group licensing agreement for Madden 18, 19, and 20 (via The Undefeated).
According to The Undefeated's report, Kaepernick was "hands-on" in determining his in-game likeness. This includes his in-game celebration: a raised fist, to reflect his real-life scoring celebration during the 2016 NFL.
For a series that has traditionally struggled with the realities of football in its virtual portrayal of the sport, it's a significant move. Kaepernick quickly became a symbol for many due to his on-field protests, raising awareness of issues that are still ongoing this day. Having him back in the pool as a quarterback means that, even if real life isn't allowing it any time soon, he can still take the field.