In pre-season NFL games, San Francsico 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has chosen not to stand for the American national anthem. The football player explains that he won’t show pride for a flag or country that “oppresses black people and people of color,” and that “there are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”
As many discuss and debate Kaepernick’s decision, one question that has been asked is whether EA’s newly released football sim Madden NFL 17, will address it. This year, the game’s commentary is being updated on a regular basis and making use of this feature, EA now says that the game will “briefly” mention the events.
Madden NFL 17 Will Mention Kaepernick Anthem Decision
In a statement to GameSpot, an EA Sports representative reveals that “Kaepernick’s decision will be briefly mentioned in-game, reflecting our commitment to authenticity in Madden NFL 17.” The representative also says that “overall, our new commentary will mainly center around on-field performance, as well as major news like trades, free agency signings, and injuries.”
Unfortunately EA Sports’ statement provides no information on when this mention will be added to Madden NFL 17, nor does it say how commentators Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis will tackle what has been an incredibly controversial topic. For example, will they discuss how some fans have taken to burning Kaepernick jerseys?
Will the commentary duo discuss analysis that suggests that the United States’ national anthem is a ‘celebration of slavery’? And will they discuss issues such as the deaths of black people and people of colour at the hands of police officers, the United States’ racial wage gap and other examples of discrimination that may have factored into Kaepernick’s decision?
EA previously removed Aaron Hernandez and Ray Rice from Madden games (due to murder charges and a suspension for domestic abuse, respectively) but as these reflected actions taken by the NFL at the time, there was little room for controversy.
With the Kaepernick issue, EA Sports will no doubt be working hard to avoid offending the (already offended) jersey burners and to treat Kaepernick’s decision to protest with respect, regardless of how the company or the commentators actually feel on the matter.
Madden NFL 17 is now available on PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One.