This year’s Super Bowl Halftime Show has a very Los Angeles feel. Not everyone involved is from the West Coast but Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, and Kendrick Lamar are from the LA area while Eminem and Mary J. Blige have ties to the three rappers and the area.
Given that so many people are watching, and there was that “wardrobe malfunction,” the NFL is rather meticulous on what happens during the Halftime Show. What may seem spontaneous is usually heavily planned. And that can lead to some things not being allowed.
According to Puck, the NFL turned down a request by Eminem to kneel at some point during his portion of the performance. While it would’ve been rather poignant for the only White performer to take a knee, given the significance of kneeling within the context of the football field, it’s not a surprise that it was something the NFL didn’t want him to do.
The NFL also reportedly denied a lyric being said from a Dr. Dre song where Dre says he’s “still not loving police,” while Snoop Dogg reportedly wasn’t allowed to wear an article of clothing due to it “possibly appearing gang-related.” According to the Puck story, “The league apparently didn’t want its premier event to turn into a divisive culture war moment.”
I can understand where the NFL is coming from in that they don’t want anything that becomes a “divisive culture war moment” during the Super Bowl but why did they even have this halftime show in the first place when Dr. Dre was in a group that consists of a word that I can’t (and don’t want to) say and that group had a song titled “F**k tha Police?” Granted that song is 30+ years old and it’s definitely not being sung at the Super Bowl but does the NFL realize who’s performing tonight?
The NFL can plan things out as much as they want but just like Janet Jackson proved, it’s live TV. He’ll probably get blackballed from performing at future NFL games and NBC will most likely be able to censor it anyway but if Eminem decided to defy the NFL and kneel, there isn’t much the NFL can do to physically stop him.
UPDATE: Eminem took a knee anyway.
— Front Office Sports (@FOS) February 14, 2022