NFL Reportedly Knew Eminem Was Going to Take a Knee During Super Bowl 2022 Halftime Show

On Feb. 13, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, 50 Cent, and Anderson .Paak performed in the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show. The show was well-received by music fans and viewers thanks to its production and nostalgia.

During the performance, Eminem kneeled on stage, seemingly referencing a protest started by former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick. While reports initially indicated that the move was done in protest to the NFL, a new report alleges the NFL knew Eminem planned to kneel during his performance.

Eminem performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show
Eminem | Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Eminem kneeled during the Super Bowl halftime show

Eminem performed his hit song “Lose Yourself” toward the end of the Super Bowl halftime show. The song was originally released in 2002 on the soundtrack for the movie 8 Mile.

While Eminem performed, Anderson .Paak played the drums on stage. At the end of Eminem’s set, he kneeled on stage as the song transitioned to Dr. Dre playing “I Ain’t Aad at Cha” by Tupac.

The kneeling protest was originally started by Kaepernick in 2016 when he played for the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick began taking a knee while the national anthem played before NFL games as a way to protest police brutality and systemic racism.

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There are mixed reports about the NFL’s approval of Eminem’s kneeling

Before Super Bowl LVI took place, Eriq Gardner of Puck News reported that the NFL rejected Eminem’s request to kneel during the halftime show performance.

“A Super Bowl special from me, for @PuckNews, as I can reveal the NFL clashed with Dr. Dre over a lyric from a signature hit how he’s ‘still not loving police.’ The league also nixed a plan by Eminem to kneel, Colin Kaepernick-style,” Gardner wrote on Twitter.

Because of initial reports, it appeared that Eminem defied the NFL by kneeling. However, after the halftime show ended, Mike Freeman of USA Today reported that the NFL actually approved of Eminem’s choice.

“The part of the show were Eminem kneeled? Report stated it was against the wishes of the NFL.
However, NFL spokesman Brian McCarhy told me that report is false. The NFL watched every rehearsal this week and that element was included. Just passing along,” Freeman tweeted.

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Eminem thought performing in the Super Bowl halftime show was ‘nerve-wracking’

Days before the 2022 Super Bowl, Eminem appeared on Sway in the Morning on SiriusXM. On the radio show, Eminem told host Sway Calloway that he was nervous to perform in the famous concert.

“I’m gonna tell you it’s f****** nerve-wracking. It’s f****** nerve-wracking,” the rapper said.

He added, “This to me… there’s nothing more final than live TV. So, if you f*** up, your f*** up is there forever.”

The Pepsi Super Bowl LVI Halftime Show is available to watch online here.

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