Colin Kaepernick hits the field in Madden NFL 21 without actual NFL deal

Colin Kaepernick may not be a part of today’s NFL, but today the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback makes his return to the Madden NFL series. Publisher Electronic Arts has announced that Kaepernick will be available to play later today in Madden NFL 21‘s Franchise and Play Now modes, where he can be put in charge of any team in the league.

Kaepernick last appeared in Madden NFL 17, which came out shortly after he famously kneeled in protest during the playing of the national anthem before a 2016 preseason game. When Kaepernick became a free agent the next season, he was no longer part of the collective licensing agreement EA arranged with the NFL Players Association and thus did not appear in subsequent Madden NFL titles.

This year, though, The Undefeated reports that EA reached out directly to Kaepernick to negotiate individual rights to his likeness in Madden NFL 21. Kaepernick was reportedly “hands-on” in the negotiations, insisting on his in-game avatar sporting an Afro and raising a “Black Power” fist as his in-game celebration.

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