Why did Eminem take a knee during the NFL Superbowl halftime show?
14 February 2022, 11:24
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Kneeling onstage following his performance of 'Lose Yourself' at the 56th Super Bowl halftime show, Eminem showed support to Colin Kaepernick; dividing fans globally
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Showing support for Colin Kaepernick, who caused controversy back in 2016 when he kneeled during the National Anthem in protest of police brutality and the oppression against Black people, many were happy with his choice and others not so much.
After the performance, fans and followers took to Twitter to share their opinion on the matter. One happy fan wrote: "Eminem kneels after NFL asked him not to. Don’t tell a goat how to behave #SuperBowl".
Whilst one upset user commented: "Eminem purposely kneeling at the end of his set during #SuperBowl 1/2 time show last night; after asking if he could do it & the NFL said absolutely not & did it anyways; shame on him; hope he gets seriously fined & never asked again to do 1/2 time show. Classless idiot 🤷♀️".
Proud of Eminem! About time people started standing up to the racism! Sick of it. We all bleed red!— susan (@twittinsusan) February 14, 2022
NFL: “You can’t kneel!”— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) February 14, 2022
After the performance, the NFL denied claims that they told the rapper not to kneel during the show after they were made aware of his move during rehearsals.
League spokesman Brian McCarthy said: "We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that. That previous report was erroneous. We watched every rehearsal this week and this was included".
So why did Eminem take a kneel at the Super Bowl halftime show?
Sending a strong message, Eminem gave a nod to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who received worldwide criticism back in 2016 for kneeling during the national anthem to protest against police brutality and racial injustice.
"I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color" Kaepernick told the NFL Media after the controversial move adding:
"To me, this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder."
At the time, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said "that on-field protests created a false perception among many that thousands of NFL players were unpatriotic", resulting in the banning of any player or team member who decided to kneel too.
The halftime show, which saw Kendrick Lamar, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, 50 Cent, Dr. Dre and Eminem hit the stage, also saw Jhené Aiko performed a beautiful Black rendition of 'America the Beautiful'.