Eminem kneeled during the Super Bowl Halftime Show on Sunday. Following the performance, the NFL said they were aware that it would happen.
It turns out that Eminem‘s kneel was in the plan all along. As Eminem wrapped up the last moments of performing “Lose Yourself” at the Super Bowl LVI halftime show on Sunday night, the rapper dropped to his knee as his set closed, in honor of Colin Kapernick who spent the 2016 season in protest of police brutality and social injustice. This was a surprising moment; before the game, it had been reported that Em wanted to take a knee during the performance but the NFL said no.
Now, according to Billboard, NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy said that the NFL were privy to Em taking a knee. McCarthy said in a statement:
“There was an erroneous report this afternoon. We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that. A player or coach could have taken a knee and there would have been no issue so there was no reason to tell an artist she or he could not do so.”
The kneel wouldn’t have been the first time that Em has publicly supported Kapernick. In a cypher segment during the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, Em rapped “Fuck that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist!” He also referenced Kapernick on “These Demons” and “Black Magic” on his 2020 album Music to Murdered By – Side B.
Along with Em, Sunday’s halftime performance featured Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige and Snoop Dogg. 50 Cent also made an appearance, with Anderson .Paak as the show’s drummer.