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Colin Kaepernick 'Madden' Return
Colin Kaepernick 'Madden' Return
Screenshot via EA Sports

Instead Of Kneeling, Kaepernick's 'Madden' Touchdown Celebration Is The Black Power Fist

EA Sports announced that  would be returning to the game on Tuesday.

Colin Kaepernick will be a playable character in EA Sports' Madden NFL series for the first time since the 2016 season. EA shared the news on Twitter in a statement:

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.

Knowing that our EA SPORTS experiences are platforms for players to create, we want to make Madden NFL a place that reflects Colin’s position and talent, rates him as a starting QB, and empowers our fans to express their hopes for the future of football. We’ve worked with Colin to make this possible, and we’re excited to bring it to all of you today.

Kaepernick returns to the video game series as the top free-agent quarterback with an 81 overall rating, making him one of the best quarterbacks in Madden 21. Prior to this, his last appearance in the series was Madden 17. He did not appear in Madden 18, Madden 19 or Madden 20 because Madden lost the rights to the quarterback's likeness when he became a free agent following the 2016 season, according to The Undefeated.

Since then, footage of him being played in the game has surfaced, most notably a video of him celebrating a touchdown with a raised fist — a nod to the Black Power salute.

The Undefeated also noted how the athlete was a part of the process for creating his avatar in the game, requesting "that his player in the game wear an Afro — an update from his most recent head image in 2016 that portrayed him in Madden 17 with cornrows." Multiple sources also said he "weighed in heavily on his avatar’s signature celebration — a Black Power fist — to reflect how he celebrated scoring plays the last time he took to the real-life football field during the 2016 NFL season." Madden 21 was released on August 28, 2020.