Update: EA has replied to our request for an official statement on the removal of Kaepernick's name from a song in Madden 19, apologizing for the omission and promising to fix it before launch. The statement is as follows:
"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."
Colin Kaepernick was known not to be included as a player in EA's Madden 19, as the quarterback remains unsigned in the wake of his kneeling protest against racial injustice prior to NFL games in 2016. But in a strangely specific attempt to scrub him entirely from the game, his name is also censored from its appearance in one of the songs on the Madden 19 soundtrack.
According to a tweeted clip from someone with an early copy of the game, a line in the song "Big Bank" by YG that includes Kaepernick's name has had the name censored in the same manner that explicit language throughout the song is removed. Kaepernick's girlfriend Nessa Diab also retweeted the clip, tagging the official EA Madden account and NFL account to ask why it had happened.
The verse in the song is delivered by rapper Sean Anderson, known as Big Sean, who tweeted earlier today that he found the removal "disappointing and appalling" and that "Nobody from my team approved any of this."