Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers drops back to pass in the first quarter of a game against the Pittsburgh Steelers on Sept. 20, 2015, at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. (Justin K. Aller / Getty Images)
By Grant Atkinson August 19, 2021 at 6:30pm
Colin Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since 2016. After leading the San Francisco 49ers to the Super Bowl in the 2012-2013 season, his success as a quarterback tapered off significantly.
Kaepernick opted out of his contract with the 49ers in March 2017. That season he had been benched in favor of journeyman Blaine Gabbert as the 49ers limped to an abysmal 2-14 record.
Kaepernick was not signed during free agency, probably because teams determined his anti-American stunts would cause more trouble than he was worth.
If Kaepernick had been good enough to start in the NFL, some teams no doubt would have been willing to overlook his anthem protests. However, no front office was going to tolerate such antics from a backup quarterback who may never see the field.
That’s clearly what Kaepernick is — a backup at best. Yet an annual EA Sports video game is trying to push a different narrative.
“Colin Kaepernick is one of the top free agents in football and a starting-caliber quarterback,” Madden NFL 22 said in a statement posted on Twitter in September. “The team at EA Sports, along with millions of Madden NFL fans, want to see him back in our game.”
— Madden NFL 22 (@EAMaddenNFL) September 8, 2020
Both of the above statements are dubious. First of all, the assertion that Kaepernick was “one of the best free agents in football” in 2020 despite being over three years removed from the league is ridiculous.
Should Kaepernick be included in Madden NFL 22?
Second, the idea that millions of people actually want the washed-up Kaepernick included in the Madden franchise seems unlikely. If they do, it’s because they want to praise him for his leftist views, not his skills on the football field.
If there were a social justice video game where fans could play as Kaepernick as he held up picket signs and wore clothing depicting police officers as pigs, that would be appropriate.
But an NFL video game? Not so much.
Nonetheless, Madden decided to include Kaepernick in its 2021 game. This year, it is continuing to falsely represent the activist quarterback’s skill level.
According to BroBible, Kaepernick has been given an 81 overall rating in Madden NFL 22. That’s a higher rating than 17 quarterbacks who will likely start this season.
Breakout star Justin Herbert (80 overall), No. 1 draft pick Trevor Lawrence (78 overall), and veterans Kirk Cousins (79 overall) and Ben Roethlisberger (78 overall) are all rated lower than Kaepernick.
The suggestion that Kaepernick is better than these players is patently insane. He has not seen an NFL field in five years, and there are always plenty of teams in need of a good quarterback.
If Kaepernick were a starting-caliber player, he would be on an NFL team.
Any franchise that felt he could return to success would be more than willing to take the PR risk and give him a chance, especially considering the establishment media would only praise the move.
The reason Kaepernick is not on an NFL roster is simple: He is not skilled enough to earn a roster spot. By inflating his rating, Madden is feeding the false narrative that he is being kept off the field for political reasons.