Today (Feb. 13), many tuned into this year’s Super Bowl and watched what might be one of the biggest halftime shows in history, with Dr. Dre, Mary J. Blige, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, and Eminem blessing the viewers and stadium attendants with some of their most iconic hits. One noticeable moment during the set was when Eminem broke out a rendition of “Lose Yourself,” which was followed by him kneeling while Dr. Dre played Tupac’s “I Ain’t Mad At Cha” on the piano nearby. The move was presumed to be in honor of Colin Kaepernick, who began kneeling in the NFL in 2016 in protest of what was happening to Black lives all across the country. As most know, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback hasn’t been able to return to professional football following that season’s end.
Just prior to the game, it was reported that the NFL turned down Eminem‘s request to allow him to kneel during his performance. According to Puck, that decision was in the midst of other refusals from the league, including for matters involving Dr. Dre‘s lyrics and Snoop Dogg‘s attire. If true, then Eminem‘s kneeling was effectively in defiance of what was agreed between all parties.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Eminem showed his support for Kaepernick, either — back in 2020, the man also known as Slim Shady released Music to Be Murdered By – Side B, the deluxe upgrade of his eleventh studio album that contained two songs that name-checks the athlete. For example, one such track was the Skylar Grey and Jayson DeZuzio-produced “Black Magic,” which contained the following lines:
“But I ain’t gonna stand for that shit, like Kaep for the National Anthem…”