Former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is one of our favorite professional athletes to talk about. Why? Because like many of his fellow professional athletes, he decided to use his celebrity status to make change happen. If you don’t know how it all began, here’s a quick summary: In 2016, Kaepernick was getting ready to play in a preseason game, and the national anthem began to play. Instead of standing with his fellow teammates, he sat on the bench. Why? It was his way of protesting the police brutality and racism that he was seeing around the country. While he later decided to kneel instead of sit during the national anthem, his actions caught the attention of the world. In 2017, Kaepernick became a free agent (meaning he was no longer associated with any team and could be picked up by any team that wanted him). While he was in excellent shape and considered one of the best quarterbacks at the time, no team decided to sign him. Kaepernick and fellow 49ers teammate Eric Reid (who also protested alongside Kaepernick), sued the NFL for conspiring to keep them from being signed. While Kaepernick hasn’t played professional football since 2017, he has continued to fight for social justice and racial equality.
Recently, there were rumors that NFL teams were interested in drafting Kaepernick for their teams. To the disappointment of football and Kaepernick fans everywhere, it was, sadly, just a rumor. Bummer, we know! But all is not lost. What isn’t a rumor is that fans can now draft Kaepernick in Madden NFL, a popular video game where users can draft players from their favorite NFL teams and play football using these players. Why is Kaepernick reappearing in an NFL-based football video game? According to EA Sports, the maker of Madden NFL, “Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback. The team at EA SPORTS, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game. We’ve had a long relationship with Colin through Madden NFL and worked through our past soundtrack mistakes.” Kaepernick reappeared on Madden NFL 21 on September 10th, the start of—you guessed it—the 2020-2021 NFL season. Players will find elements in Madden NFL 21 that are specific to Kaepernick. For example, when Kaepernick makes a big play, he celebrates by raising a fist in the air—the symbol of Black power. Kaepernick may not be back on the physical football field, but he’ll be back on a virtual one. We’ll raise a fist to that.
If you were given the chance to star in a video game, what is the one element about yourself that you would want the video game to have?