Eminem showed his support for Colin Kaepernick at the Super Bowl Halftime Show.
During Sunday’s performance with Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Kendrick Lamar, and 50 Cent at SoFi Stadium, the Detroit rapper knelt on one knee while holding his head after performing his 8 Mile anthem “Lose Yourself.”
The move was an apparent nod to Kaepernick, who took a knee during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial inequality. The former San Francisco 49ers quarterback’s peaceful protest during the 2016 season sparked a national debate and is believed to be the reason why he never played professional football again.
The NFL was aware in advance that Eminem was going to kneel. League spokesman Brian McCarthy told The New York Times that officials “watched it during rehearsals this week.”
McCarthy said that players, coaches, and personnel were free to have taken a knee before Sunday’s game, and that no one has been disciplined for taking a knee since 2016.
In past years, many artists have stood in solidarity with Kaepernick by turning down the opportunity to perform at the halftime show, including JAY-Z, Cardi B, and Rihanna.
“I couldn’t dare do that,” Rihanna told Vogue. “For what? Who gains from that? Not my people. I just couldn’t be a sellout. I couldn’t be an enabler. There’s things within that organization [the NFL] that I do not agree with at all, and I was not about to go and be of service to them in any way.”
Ahead of Super Bowl LVI, J. Cole voiced his support for the blackballed quarterback. “I see you bro, and I know God is with you,” the rapper wrote on Instagram. “I pray the day soon comes when you get to play the game you love at the highest level again. I believe. And I haven’t forgot. RESPECT.”