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Madden NFL 17 will touch on Colin Kaepernick's decision to sit during the national anthem

National. Anthem. Controversy. It's in the game.


An EA representative told GameSpot that Madden NFL 17's in-game commentary will reference San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick's decision to remain seated during the national anthem over several NFL preseason games.

"Kaepernick's decision will be briefly mentioned in-game, reflecting our commitment to authenticity in Madden NFL 17," an EA Sports publicist said. "Overall, our new commentary will mainly center around on-field performance, as well as major news like trades, free agency signings, and injuries."

Colin Kaepernick's actions reached a boiling point this past weekend when he sat during the national anthem during a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. He explained his reasoning to CBS Sports. "I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."

On Sunday, the QB held an 18-minute Q-and-A with Bay Area reporters to elaborate on his stance. "I mean, ultimately it's to bring awareness and make people realize what's really going on in this country. There are a lot of things that are going on that are unjust, people aren't being held accountable for, and that's something that needs to change. That's something that-this country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all. And it's not happening for all right now."

Kaepernick did say during his interview that he will continue to sit during the singing of the national anthem in order to figuratively stand with people being oppressed.

Naturally, NFL fans, players, and analysts have had strong reactions to Kaepernick's actions and reasoning. Chip Kelly, the 49ers' coach, told ESPN that team management acknowledged his right to take a stance and would not tell him to continue or cease sitting. Alex Boone, a former 49er whose brother did a tour in Iraq, referred to his decision as "shameful."

Madden 17 was released earlier this month. GameSpot learned from EA Sports' publicist that the in-game reference will be applied in an update, although no context for the reference to Kaepernick's actions was given. While the context has yet to be determined, it seems to feed into EA Sports' larger objective of delivering more authentic commentary in this year's game.

Long Reads Editor

David L. Craddock writes fiction, nonfiction, and grocery lists. He is the author of the Stay Awhile and Listen series, and the Gairden Chronicles series of fantasy novels for young adults. Outside of writing, he enjoys playing Mario, Zelda, and Dark Souls games, and will be happy to discuss at length the myriad reasons why Dark Souls 2 is the best in the series. Follow him online at and @davidlcraddock.

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