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Fans applaud Eminem for ‘defying NFL’ and kneeling at Super Bowl halftime show: ‘Mad respect’

‘Will the Real Slim Shady please kneel?’, one fan commented

Maanya Sachdeva
Monday 14 February 2022 13:43 GMT
Eminem kneels during Super Bowl halftime show performance

Eminem’s fans were “thrilled” to see the rap superstar kneel during the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show.

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

Eminem’s move was followed by 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.

However, the NFL has since denied the claim that it tried to stop the rapper from kneeling.

According to a Fox News report published late Sunday night (13 February) , NFL spokesperson Brian McCarthy described a news report claiming the league had told the rapper not to make the gesture as “erroneous”.

The political act of “taking the knee” was popularised by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who started kneeling during the pre-game national anthem in 2016 to protest police brutality.

While other NFL players also adopted Kaepernick’s gesture, the league came under fire for its reaction to the protest. The star quarterback that prompted the movement, Kaepernick has not played in the NFL since the 2016 season ended.

Now, fans have reacted to Eminem taking the knee, writing that the rapper deserves “mad respect” for standing in solidarity with Kaepernick.

Some users pointed out the league’s hypocrisy over allowing Eminem to kneel – a decision that cost Kaepernick his football career.

One fan wrote: “NFL kneels to Eminem.”

Another commented: “I feel like if you know anything about Eminem you knew that he was definitely going to kneel here whether NFL allowed it or not.”

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Others celebrated Eminem’s legacy, and the moment he kneeled, with one Twitter user writing: “He is immortal in the rap world. It was unforgettable.”

“Ha ha. They can’t kick Eminem out of the NFL. KNEEL PROUD! Black Lives Matter,” another user declared.

Still others described the moment Eminem took the knee as “beautiful” and “epic”.

In his statement to Fox News, McCarthy said the NFL was “aware” that Eminem was planning to take the knee, and confirmed they had watched “all elements” of his performance multiple times in the run-up to the show.

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