Eminem performed with his fellow hip-hop heavyweights including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar during the well-received Super Bowl 2022 halftime show at the SoFi Stadium. At the end of “Lose Yourself,” Eminem took a knee on the stage, put his right hand on his head and looked downward.
According to a report from Puck, the rapper was at odds with the NFL over kneeling “Colin Kaepernick-style” during a star-studded halftime show, however the NFL has since denied the reports that the league objected to the “Colin Kaepernick-style” gesture.
The NFL said it did not attempt to stop Eminem from taking a knee during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show Sunday night in Inglewood, California. According to the NFL statement, the players have been taking a knee since 2016 without sanctions, so musical talent wouldn’t be held to a different standard.
“We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that,” NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said.
The report from Puck also claims league organizers “flagged something that Snoop Dogg was set to wear as possibly appearing gang-related.”
Dr. Dre had also a lot of back-and-forth aggravations in planning his set, according to the report.
The report cites a source close to Dre as saying the rapper felt “disgustingly censored.”
Beyond not wanting cursing, the league was said to have been uncomfortable with a lyric in “Still D.R.E.” — “still not loving police” — because it did not want this performance to be a “divisive culture war moment.”