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NFL Reportedly Attempted To Ax Controversial Moment From Eminem's Set

Sunday night's Super Bowl proved to be exciting in all realms of entertainment. Many anticipated projects released new footage, including Disney+'s upcoming series "Moon Knight" and the Marvel Cinematic Universe blockbuster "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." And that's not all. Amidst all the star-studded commercials and the big game itself, there was also an impressive line-up for the halftime show.

The halftime show for Super Bowl LVI was headlined by a quintet of rap and hip-hop stars. As ESPN points out, Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar all hail from Southern California, making their performance resonant, especially considering the L.A. Ram's managed to secure the victory. The list of performers does not stop there, either. Also headlining were Mary J. Blige and Eminem. The Detroit native is known for his controversial lyrics, but it was actually a specific physical moment during the halftime show that made Eminem's appearance so notable. 

Eminem knelt in solidarity during his halftime performance

Protesting is a time-honored tradition in the arts, especially in the lyrics of rap songs. NWA's protest of police brutality goes back to their early work which Dr. Dre echoed at the Super Bowl halftime show (via Vulture). Eminem is also no stranger to making statements. At the halftime show, he took the opportunity to protest racial inequality by taking a knee during his song "Lose Yourself," an action that was popularized by former NFL player Colin Kaepernick. 

The publication Puck reported that the NFL allegedly tried to prevent Eminem from kneeling during his performance. However, reps for the NFL told The New York Post that this was not the case. They claim that there is no reason for them to object since athletes have been "taking knees since 2016 without sanctions," and that halftime performers are treated no different.

The possible backstage drama around Eminem kneeling wasn't the only conflict that reportedly occurred. According to the New York Post, the NFL had notes for both Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre about aspects of their performances, which reportedly left Dre feeling that he'd been "disgustingly censored." The NFL continues to maintain that they were "aware" of and okay with Eminem's intentions leading up to the halftime show, despite reports that they objected to it (via ESPN).