Eminem kneeling during Superbowl Halftime performance
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NFL Responds To Claims About Trying To Stop Eminem From Kneeling At Halftime

As we've seen in the hype leading up to this year's Superbowl, the fact that the big game was held in Los Angeles presented a unique opportunity when it came to the halftime show.

Because while previous years have seen one or two acts hold the show down while a couple of surprise guests made their appearances, Superbowl Sunday 2022 saw a veritable who's who of American hip hop and R&B perform.

And while the impressive lineup was already a cause for excitement, there was one particular moment at Halftime that has managed to catch even more attention than the performance itself.

In the weeks leading up to the Superbowl, a trailer was released indicating that Dr. Dre, Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige and Kendrick Lamar would all turn in performances.

The results are being hailed as among the best Halftime shows fans have seen in recent memory and weren't without their surprises as the evening went on.

For one thing, 50 Cent also took to the stage and supported an already star-studded lineup.

But what's really caught the world's attention was the fact that Eminem kneeled for a moment in an apparent tribute to athletes protesting systemic racism.

Much of the buzz about this moment had to do with reports that Eminem was disobeying the NFL's directives by doing this.

Those reports also suggested that NFL representatives told Dr. Dre to forego saying the line "still not loving police" in his hit song "Still D.R.E."

Dr. Dre driving lowrider
youtube | Universal Music Group

But while it's obvious that Eminem still kneeled, it's also worth noting that Dr. Dre made no changes to the song's lyrics.

When those reports first surfaced, it wasn't hard for people to believe that the NFL would try to meddle with the performance in this way.

After all, The Guardian reported that while the league had been evasive about whether former quarterback Colin Kaepernick had been blackballed for pioneering the kneeling protests that players engaged in during the National Anthem, they received confirmation that this happened in 2018.

This came in the form of an anonymous staffer who admitted the protests cost Kaepernick a prospect with the Seattle Seahawks.

football players for the Seattle Seahacks celebrating
Facebook | Seattle Seahawks

With this in mind, it wasn't hard for fans to believe that the league would be worried about similar statements from the artists performing at Halftime.

However, a representative from the NFL is now denying that any such pressure took place.

Speaking to ESPN, this person said, "We watched all elements of the show during multiple rehearsals this week and were aware that Eminem was going to do that."

Thus, the representative is suggesting that because they had so many opportunities to pull the plug on Eminem's gesture, the fact that he did it was indicative that they let it happen.

Although even if that wasn't the case, it's hard to imagine how they'd be able to tell as famous of a provocateur as Eminem what to do.

h/t: ESPN