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EA explains why kneeling football star Colin Kaepernick's name was bleeped from Madden 19

The former NFL star's name was removed along with profanities, a racial slur and sexual references.

Colin Kaepernick
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

EA has explained why Colin Kaepernick's name was removed from Madden 19. It apologized and said the issue was based on staff members misunderstanding image rights.

Twitter user Mr. Changing Lives tweeted the bleep on Wednesday, and the post was retweeted Thursday by Kaepernick's girlfriend, Nessa Diab, and later Kaepernick himself.

The song, Big Bank by YG, includes the lyrics:

"Feed me to the wolves now I lead the pack and shit
You boys all cap, I'm more Colin Kaepernick"

The rapper tweeted about the incident, saying: "It's disappointing and appalling @NFL & @EA took @Kaepernick7's name out of my verse on Big Bank for Madden 19, like it was a curse word. When he's not a curse, he's a gift! Nobody from my team approved any of this."

ProFootballTalk says it confirmed Kaepernick's name was removed by listening to an advance copy of the game. Other words were reportedly bleeped, including profanities, a racial slur and sexual references.

EA said in a statement that the removal of Kaepernick's name was an "unfortunate mistake" and was based on a misunderstanding. 

"We made an unfortunate mistake with our Madden NFL soundtrack," EA said. "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."

First published Aug. 2, 12:52 p.m. PT.
Update, 3:44 p.m.: Adds tweet from YG.
Update, 6:01 p.m.: Adds statement from EA.