NFL Says It Knew Eminem Would Kneel During Halftime Show

The halftime performance during Super Bowl LVI practically stole the show during an otherwise terrific game between the Los Angeles Rams and the Cincinnati Bengals.

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The concert mid-game featured legendary hip-hop artists Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem. The latter of which made headlines for kneeling during the performance, putting his hood over his head.

Kneeling and the NFL will be forever linked together thanks to the protest efforts from former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who knelt ahead of games during the National Anthem before he was blackballed by the league, for all intents and purposes. His protests began in 2016.

After Eminem knelt—a move that shows solidarity with Kaepernick, who is now a Nike spokesman—there was a great deal of speculation on social media that the Detroit-born rapper did so despite the NFL telling him not to do so.

On Monday (February 14), the day after the game, ESPN reported, however, that the NFL has said it did not attempt to stop Eminem from taking a knee during the halftime show in Inglewood, California. The league denied the reports that it had told Eminem to make no such action.

NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said of Eminem’s action, “We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that.”

Ever since then, the news has made national headlines. The New York Times tweeted, “Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, and 50 Cent delivered a Super Bowl halftime performance heavy on nostalgia and California pride. Eminem knelt and held his head as he finished ‘Lose Yourself.'”

Check out the moment below.

Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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