Last Friday night, San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem in a preseason game against Green Bay. The reason he did so was to get people talking about perceived injustices against African Americans in the U.S. He succeeded, wildly. In fact, he even got two people talking about it who nobody could have predicted: the NFL commentary team in the video game Madden 17.
The long-running, multibillion-selling game has added a new feature this season. The in-game commentary team, Brandon Gaudin and Charles Davis, have shifted from saying the same exact things every single game to including the occasional nugget of real-world info. So far, the enhanced system has already included updates about Dak Prescott’s preseason performance, for instance. As GameSpot reports, though, Madden 17 will now include a discussion of the Kaepernick controversy in the game as well.
This decision definitely brings a new dimension to the much-boasted authenticity of the franchise, but it will be interesting to see how the new system plays out. What other kind of news about the players lives beyond the gridiron will make it into the game world? As the commentary is updated throughout the season, hopefully no players will end up engaging in any elevator-set wife-beatings, or, you know, murder. If verisimilitude is the goal of the enhanced commentary feature, than perhaps it’s time some of the ugly side of the NFL crept into its video game counterpart.