It turns out Eminem didn’t violate NFL rules or disobeyed the organization’s request by taking a knee in honor of Colin Kaepernick.
Hip-hop fans are still on cloud nine following an outstanding representation of the genre at last night’s (Feb. 13) Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime Show. The star-studded stage also included a moment that raised eyebrows.
Eminem, who hit the stage alongside Snoop Dogg, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Mary J. Blige, took a knee during his performance as a shout-out to Colin Kaepernick’s ongoing fight for racial equality. The moment came right before Dr. Dre began his set on a white baby grand piano playing a few notes of Tupac Shakur’s 1996 single “I Ain’t Mad At Cha.”
Some people immediately began insinuating that Eminem, known for his rebellious persona Slim Shady, had broken guidelines set out by the National Football League. According to at least one major publication, The New York Post, that accusation is totally false.
One publication called The Puck ran an article in which they claimed the NFL warned the performers not to take a knee but a journalist Ryan Glasspiegel proved that information to be false as she indicated that NFL reps said players have been taking knees since 2016. They do not usually face any sanctions for the act, and it should be no different for performers, the reps also stated.
Another expert on the matter, Sports Illustrated‘s Albert Breer also said that no rules were broken. His statement was backed up by NFL’s spokesperson Brian McCarthy who said that the report was erroneous and that the reps watched all elements of the show during numerous rehearsals before the game.
Absolutely the best #SuperBowl #HalfTimeShow in years. ???Eminem taking the knee for #Kaepernick even though the NFL told him not to, was epic.
— Michael Popove (@MichaelPopove) February 14, 2022
The misinformation could not take away from a stellar performance by the high-profile crew that even included 50 CENT rapping his iconic banger “In Da Club” while upside down. Other highlights included Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Snoop Dogg, and Mary J. Blige performing alongside some West Coast staples, including low riders and Crip-walking. Not to mention they went all out with 400 professional dancers and volunteer cast participants.
The Puck also claimed that “Still D.R.E.” made the organizers “uncomfortable” because of the one lyric “still not loving police.” They also claimed that Snoop Dogg’s blue rag sweatsuit could have possibly been perceived as “gang-related.” However, according to the experts, it looks like they’re just trying to stir up some controversy.
NFL's Brian McCarthy on the report that the league told Eminem not to kneel during the halftime show: “Report was erroneous. We watched all elements of the show during numerous rehearsals this week.”
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) February 14, 2022
HELL YA EMINEM TOOK A KNEE!!!!!!! #PepsiHalftime pic.twitter.com/cd100kRxQw
— £0R? MÃRÏ? ????????????? (@LorimarieWillis) February 14, 2022
Eminem took a knee, Snoop wore blue, Dre spoke out against the police. #SuperBowl pic.twitter.com/tKK7IEV7C3
— Eric Alper ? (@ThatEricAlper) February 14, 2022
This is it. Right here. Eminem takes a knee as Dr. Dre plays Tupac’s I ain’t mad at cha on the piano. Here’s when I lost it pic.twitter.com/uDIaSYJJB8
— Luis Miguel Echegaray (@lmechegaray) February 14, 2022