Colin Kaepernick returns to Madden 21 with a free to play weekend in his honor

(Image credit: EA)

NFL quarterback and civil rights activist Colin Kaepernick is officially rejoining the Madden roster for the first time since 2017, according to an announcement from EA. 

Kaepernick is available to sign as a free agent in Madden 21 right now. Check out the announcement below. 

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The quarterback has been an NFL free agent since the end of the 2016 season, after drawing attention for kneeling during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality. He's since been kept out of the NFL despite his excellent track record, likely for the aforementioned political activism. Because of licensing agreements with the NFL Players Association, Kaepernick hasn't been in a Madden game since 2017, and his name was even removed from two songs in the 2018 version of the game, though EA has since stated this was a mistake.

"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," the statement reads. By "one of the top free agents" they mean the best rated free-agent QB in the entire game - he's ranked 81 overall, which according to an EA blog post, takes into account that he hasn't been on the field since 2016. For reference, that puts him higher than fellow signed QBs Cam Newton, Josh Allen, and Derek Carr. 

According to PC Gamer, Kaepernick and EA worked together to bring him back into the game - he reportedly requested that he have a natural afro as opposed to cornrows, and asked that the Black Power fist be one of his celebration moves. 

You'll be able to sign Kaepernick to your team in Franchise mode - simply start a new franchise, head to free agents, and sort by QBs to secure Kap. Madden 21 will be free to play to celebrate his return and the start of the NFL season from September 10 to 13. 

A series of Madden 21 franchise mode improvements are on their way. 

Alyssa Mercante

Alyssa Mercante is an editor and features writer at GamesRadar based out of Brooklyn, NY. Prior to entering the industry, she got her Masters's degree in Modern and Contemporary Literature at Newcastle University with a dissertation focusing on contemporary indie games. She spends most of her time playing competitive shooters and in-depth RPGs and was recently on a PAX Panel about the best bars in video games. In her spare time Alyssa rescues cats, practices her Italian, and plays soccer.