Most of the time, people have little reason to pay close attention to menu music in sports games. However, Madden NFL 19 gave us extra reason to focus on it when some omitted lyrics lead to unfortunate implications regarding a controversial American football player.
“Unfortunate mistake,” says spokesperson.
The newest release in EA’s annual football game comes with an in-game soundtrack. These songs generally have the profane parts covered up so everyone can enjoy some good ol’ football. However, the newest version of the game censored some lyrics that unwittingly dragged EA into some modern politics.
The song in question is YG’s “Big Bank,” featuring 2 Chainz, Big Sean, and Nicki Minaj. The scrubbed lyrics, originally sung by Big Sean, are:
You boys all cap, I’m more Colin Kaepernick
Colin Kaepernick is a former San Francisco 49ers quarterback. He would protest against police brutality and racial discrimination by kneeling during the national anthem in 2016, the last year of his contract. Other players joined in, and the controversy heated up when President Trump complained about it. Since then, Colin has been more or less blacklisted by all the NFL teams. He has filed a collusion grievance against the league. Despite being unlisted, he appeared as a free agent in Madden NFL ’18.
Obviously, censoring those sorts of lyrics could be seen as a political statement. However, it seems that EA’s decision to censor the song was due to a misunderstanding. An upcoming patch to Madden NFL 19 will restore the lyrics. An EA spokesperson explained what happened:
We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack. Members of our team misunderstood the fact that while we don’t have rights to include Colin Kaepernick in the game, this doesn’t affect soundtracks. We messed up, and the edit should never have happened. We will make it right, with an update to Madden NFL 19 on August 6 that will include the reference again. We meant no disrespect, and we apologize to Colin, to YG and Big Sean, to the NFL, to all of their fans and our players for this mistake.
Madden NFL 19 has already released for Windows PC. It will release on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on August 10.