NFL Says It Knew Eminem Would Take a Knee

Reports before the game suggested otherwise
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2022 6:17 AM CST
NFL: Yes, We Knew Eminem Was Taking a Knee
Eminem kneels during the halftime performance at Super Bowl 56 in Inglewood, Calif.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Eminem caused a social media buzz when he took a knee during the Super Bowl halftime show. It seemed to be a clear show of support for exiled QB Colin Kaepernick, and all the more interesting because of reports before the game—notably in Puck—that the NFL had explicitly prohibited the rapper from making the move. However, the league disputed that narrative after the game. "We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,'' league spokesman Brian McCarthy tells ESPN.

No word yet on the moment from Eminem himself, who knelt after his performance of "Lose Yourself." The show with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and a big surprise appearance from 50 Cent is getting strong reviews, though music critic Jon Caramanica of the New York Times points out that the league "essentially chose to wait until hip-hop had become oldies music—apart from Lamar, every artist onstage Sunday had their commercial and creative peak more than a decade ago—in order to grant it full rein on its biggest stage." (More Eminem stories.)

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