EA Sports: 'Unfortunate mistake' led to Kaepernick being edited out of Madden 19 soundtrack

EA Sports issued a statement Thursday night saying that Colin Kaepernick's name was mistakenly edited out of a song on the Madden NFL 19 soundtrack. 

"Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don't have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in our game, this doesn't affect soundtracks," the statement read. "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."

While that explanation might make sense on the surface, Kaepernick's girlfriend, Nessa Diab, pointed out that this was actually the second consecutive year that EA Sports had edited Kaepernick's name out of a song on its soundtrack. (You can hear the edited and original tracks from Madden NFL 18 right here.)

If this was merely a one-off mistake, as EA stated, it seems like the kind of thing that would have been fixed last year, or at least not happened again. This issue arose anew around midday on Thursday, when a Twitter user discovered that a line featuring Kaepernick's name had been edited out of the track, "Big Bank" by YG featuring Big Sean. 

The words in that verse are supposed to say, "Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and s---. You boys all cap, I'm more Colin Kaepernick. I'm rare as affordable health care."

After hearing of the edit, Big Sean took to Twitter to make it known that nobody from his team approved the edit. (They presumably approved the removal of profanity and sexual references, which were made elsewhere on the track.) Kaepernick, in turn, thanked Big Sean for his support. 

EA Sports had previously stated that it would be staying out of any controversy surrounding protests against institutional racism and police brutality, which players around the league have participated in during the national anthem over the past two seasons. (Kaepernick was the first NFL player to protest in that manner, first sitting and then kneeling during the singing of them anthem throughout the 2016 season.) 

"We work very closely with the NFL and the NFLPA. We work very closely about how we want to represent the game, and really make it a celebration of the sport," EA Sports producer Ben Haumiller told Gamespot. "And maybe a place where you don't have to ... you love the game, but you don't have to worry about everything else that's going on that might be distractions from [the reason] you're trying to be here -- it's about the game."

The league has generally botched its response to the protests, with its repeated threats and haphazard new policies only drawing the ire of the players union. It appears EA botched at least part of its response as well, but at least the video game giant is taking steps to rectify the issue soon. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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