'Madden NFL 19' Bleeps Colin Kaepernick's Name From In-Game Soundtrack

Update: EA released a statement to Gamasutra explaining what happened here, see the note at the end.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://waypoint.vice.com/en_us/article/zmkq35/madden-nfl-19-bleeps-colin-kaepernicks-name-from-in-game-soundtrack
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I am going to die laughing when this gets brought up as evidence of collusion in a court of law

why didnt they just…not use the song…


I think this was an EA power move and I bet there’s an email from Jerry Jones’ personal assistant demanding Kaep’s removal

I have no evidence for this aside from it being both the dumbest AND the funniest possible explanation, which is the Occam’s Razor for NFL corporate actions

The NFL truly fucked up last year when it decided to close ranks and screw over Colin Kaepernick. It isn’t like conservatives thanked them either. My racist relatives and jackasses who call into WFAN still were like “I can’t football anymore, blah blah blah, it isn’t about the GAME anymore”.

Anyway, Drew Magery wrote this just today and he’s right, this year is gonna be a turd wash. (And not just because my Broncos are one Case Keneem ACL away from being total trash again.) https://www.gq.com/story/the-nfl-isnt-ready-for-how-big-of-a-disaster-this-season-will-be


The NFL just can’t stop dunking on itself. I used to be an avid fan, watching every Sunday, Monday, and (bleh) Thursday, but I think this will be the year that I finally completely check out on the league. It’s not just because of the rah-rah Republicanism that’s awful (although that’s pretty bad), but because it finally stripped away the façade that teams will actually try to be competitive. In such a QB-dependent league, with a definite shortage at the position, you’re telling me that not one team could have been made better by starting Colin Kaepernick, or at least signed him as a backup? Competitive balance is such a joke in the NFL, so why should I waste my time?


it is pretty fun watching the NFL trip over its own dick every time anything happens, ever. everything they do makes things worse. it’s incredible.


Literally why does anyone who follows (or produces content for) Waypoint and ostensibly shares their liberal-to-progressive beliefs still follow football? Football is trash and has no incentive to change their positions if you keep eating up their content, whether that’s video games or watching their games on TV or what have you.

This is both appalling and confusing at the same time.

I’ve already seen people try to point out how some legal/licensing agreement stuff could’ve resulted in this, but I don’t buy it. Usually if that was the case, the easiest decision would’ve been to not have the song in there at all or the radio-friendly version would be in there instead.

The fact that this specific edit was made to the song, that is different from all the other published recordings of this song, suggests to me deliberate censoring rather than some licensing dispute.

What in the actual hell.

I mean we can make this argument about basically anything if we really want to


This has to be deliberate because it’s not a bleep, but a full removal of the lyric from the vocal track within the song. That can only be done if you have the person who mixed the song, or someone in that chain, send you a specific version.

I don’t believe that it’s a licensing problem because Patrick notes in the article that he saw Kaepernick’s name go by on the in-game news ticker while he was listening. They wouldn’t be able to do that either if it was a licensing thing, right?


Ye, the list of companies who embrace far-Right reactionaries is getting a bit long* for cultural commentators to just say ignoring them is an effective way to do anything but remove your voice from criticism of popular culture. Engaging critically with problematic content seems to be the only way forward.

* So in the last 5 years (to make sure we’re not just listing all the companies that eagerly worked with literal Nazis within living memory) we’ve got Disney (so soon also Fox, basically a massive chunk of popular culture), Nintendo, ArenaNet, etc etc etc.

We fancy adding companies who have ignored sexual assault perpetrators and domestic abusers within their star talent and executive tiers… it’s getting pretty hard to discuss popular culture.

I mean, Patrick is a huge NFL fan and Austin was hyped over the Philly Super Bowl win last season, so it’s not like Waypoint as an outlet is anti-NFL. Maybe they should be, but that’s not the case right now.


i think saying that waypoint as an outlet is or isn’t anti-nfl is going a bit too far i think, austin’s hype over the super bowl was wrapped in conflicted feelings that he tweeted about as the super bowl got closer and i think that most of the time that the nfl has come up on the site or in relation to the site it hasn’t been in the most positive light?

additionally i think theres a difference between actively supporting football/the NFL and keeping up with the news in it and, occasionally, getting caught up in very specific sporting events that are like, difficult to fully avoid and can be very personal for, whatever reasons.

also like, athletes are, as a group of people, so weird! it really sucks that a lot of them are so vulnerable to these messed up federations and stuff


Yeah this is the frustrating thing about all of this, a lot of guys on my hometown’s team seem like genuinely good, community-focused guys who use their fame and influence in positive ways. I understand if you can’t just completely drop them because they play under a problematic system.

And, anyway, this is such a weird thing for EA to do, it’s not like they could just scrub Kaepernick’s existence from the game in the first place if they’re going to do this, if his name came up in the news like this article indicates. I guess I understand why they did it, like, I guess you don’t want to alienate a fanbase who’s apparently going to lose their shit at the mere mention of Kaepernick… But this just strikes me as weirdly cowardly in an asinine way.

Also, this reminds me of how the Redman song “Let’s Get Dirty” was censored in the XBOX version of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3 because he references the PS2 in one verse


Update, it was apparently a misunderstanding :stuck_out_tongue:
(that they wouldn’t have fixed if no one ever noticed it)


Wow, that sure is some words from the EA rep:

We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. 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 the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.

What was it said about the EA conference and how blame flows down when they talk about “mistakes”?


Yeah that’s an extremely weird mistake to make, especially considering Kap’s name still appears in the news ticker. Sounds like someone at some point in the chain wanted to sneak in a statement and got caught.

I say this as someone who does not give a damn about any sport professional or otherwise, but if you actually enjoy watching American Football, it’s kind of the NFL or nothing. Yeah, you could watch college teams, but the level of play is totally different and it’s also feeding directly into the NFL anyway.

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you can make the same argument for wrasslin, but a lot of waypointers still love that too. Pretty much any major piece of media is run by conservative megalomaniacs, the NFL is no different. The NFL is such a lightning rod for drama precisely because the player base is disproportionately black, but the fanbase/ownership skews so conservative/white. Other media Megacorps probably don’t vary nearly as much in practice/idealogy than the NFL, they’re just able to brush things under the rug in a way the NFL isn’t able to.

Which doesn’t exonerate the NFL at all for how it’s handled Kap/BLM at all. but people ought to be able to enjoy watching it without feeling implicated in that controversy.