Eminem took a knee during his Super Bowl LVI Pepsi Halftime Show performance on Sunday evening (Feb. 13) alongside legendary artists Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, 50 Cent and Kendrick Lamar.
Despite the National Football League (NFL) reportedly telling him not to take a knee during the 2022 Super Bowl Halftime Show, the 49-year-old Detroit-raised rapper decided to disregard the instructions given to him by the NFL.
While the NFL denied reports that the told him not to take a knee, the league spokesman, Brian McCarthy shared, “We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that.”
The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nominee kneeled during his performance of his 2002 hit, “Lose Yourself.” When he kneeled he also put his right hand over his head and looked down toward the ground.
The gesture became a controversial subject when former NFL San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick kneeled as an act of protest against racial discrimination and police brutality. After Kaepernick started the protest, other football players followed suit, and it created a widespread cultural controversy.
Kaepernick was criticized for starting the protest during the National Anthem at a 2016 preseason football game.
Eminem previously showcased his support for Kaepernick during the 2017 BET Hip Hop Awards, when he performed a four and a half minute freestyle rap, throwing shade at former President Donald Trump and praising the former quarterback’s message on racism and police brutality.
“F— that, this is for Colin, ball up a fist and keep that s— balled like Donald the b—-,” he rapped with his fist raised in the air.
He has also mentioned him within his song lyrics in “Untouchable,” the fourth track from his ninth solo studio album, Revival.
“Somebody has to be the sacrificial lamb… / So they call it a Kaepernick tantrum… / If you don’t stand for the national anthem… / We raise it, you better praise it,” he raps on the infamous 2017 track.