The NFL Super Bowl 2022 half-time show was applauded by millions as one of the best shows ever but was marred with controversy after Eminem despite apparent objections from NFL, kneeled on stage, an act that has been used as a form of protest against police brutality and racial inequity.
It is now being said that the NFL knew that Eminem would kneel and was initially against the idea. Later, the NFL said it did not attempt to stop Eminem from taking a knee during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show on Sunday night in Inglewood, California. Eminem took a knee in solidarity with former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
Eminem Shows Solidarity
Eminem kneeled just after performing "Lose Yourself" in front of a sold-out crowd at the LA Rams' SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, a decision that didn't go down well with the NFL. According to reports, the rapper was at odds with the NFL after kneeling in front of a packed stadium.
This year's Super Bowl LVI halftime show was a star-studded affair that saw performances from Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent alongside Eminem.
Eminem's move was in line with Colin Kaepernick's stand in the NFL when he took a knee during the National Anthem back in 2016. Kaepernick led a series of protests meant to highlight the injustice of police brutality against Black Americans that involved players kneeling during games as the national anthem played.
He was subsequently pushed out of the league and received a sizable settlement from the NFL.
Eminem's decision to kneel didn't surprise spectators but since then there have been reports that the NFL tried to stop the rapper form doing so.
However, the NFL denied that the league had any differences with Eminem before his performance.
NFL Knew Eminem Would Kneel
NFL later said that the league neither tried to stop Eminem from kneeling nor did it have any differences with the rapper. Representatives told the New York Post that athletes have been taking knees without repercussions since 2016, and that musical skill will not be held to a higher standard.
Moreover, league officials knew that Eminem would kneel going into Sunday because officials "watched it during rehearsals this week," an NFL spokesman told The New York Times.
The report from Puck says league organizers "also flagged something that Snoop Dogg was set to wear as possibly appearing gang-related."
There were also reports that the NFL also tried to stop Dr. Dre from rapping the line "still not loving police" in his song "Still D.R.E.," but he didn't listen either.
The NFL has, however, denied all such reports. "We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,'' McCarthy said.
"Players have been taking knees since 2016 without sanctions, so musical talent wouldn't be held to a different standard," an NFL official told the NY Post.