Eminem kneels during Super Bowl halftime show performance

Headliners reportedly came under heavy censorship from the NFL ahead of the halftime show

Eminem kneels during Super Bowl halftime show performance
Leer en Español

In a display of defiance against the NFL, Eminem knelt during his performance at the Super Bowl halftime show.

The rapper took the knee at the end of a rendition of “Lose Yourself”, which also included Dr Dre, and Anderson .Paak on drums.

Eminem had apparently mentioned the idea of kneeling ahead of his performance, but had been asked to avoid doing so by Super Bowl organisers.

The form of protest by kneeling was brought to the NFL by Colin Kaepernick, who first began sitting silently on benches during the national anthem, at the start of the 2016 season on 26 August.

On 1 September, he transitioned to taking a knee in protest instead, following advice from retired Army Green Beret Nate Boyer, who suggested kneeling during the ceremony would be more respectful towards veterans.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of colour,” Kaepernick said in a press conference after first sitting out during the anthem.

“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.”

Eminem’s move came amid widespread reports that he and fellow headliners Dr Dre, Kendrick Lamar, Mary J Blige and Snoop Dogg were being heavily censored from making any political statements.

According to the New York Post, Dre felt “disgustingly censored” by executives who didn’t want the performance to become a “divisive culture war moment”.

Enjoy unlimited access to 70 million ad-free songs and podcasts with Amazon Music Sign up now for a 30-day free trial

Sign up

The NFL also reportedly expressed its discomfort over lyrics in “Still Dre” about “still not loving police”.

Following the halftime show, hundreds of people reacted to Eminem’s decision to kneel on social media.

Eric Reid, right, kneels alongside Colin Kaepernick and Eli Harold

“The NFL outright told Eminem he can’t do the knee during the show,” one fan commented. “Eminem proceeds to do the knee for one minute. The goat.”

“For the record, I think I know why Eminem was kneeling, but if it’s related to Colin Kaepernick, he should say that,” sports journalist Jemele Hill tweeted. “Not a criticism. But would be a powerful addition to the conversation.”

The NFL has since denied trying to prevent Eminem from making the gesture.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in