Greedy NFL Sues M.I.A. & Her Middle Finger for An Amount That Would Make Anyone Say "F- You"
Remember when M.I.A. flipped the bird during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show? Well, that famous finger is in the news again. M.I.A. is being sued by the NFL for $16.6 million for giving the middle finger and mouthing the line "I don't give a shit" during her performance alongside Madonna. The NFL originally asked for $1.5 million in arbitration, but upped this by a whopping $15 million, which they claim is for "restitution," according to legal documents released Monday. Reportedly, the $1.5 million was for breaking her contract and "flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl," with the additional money representing how much money advertisers would have paid for the two minutes M.I.A. was on screen.
M.I.A and her attorney Howard King have filed response papers stating that "the claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic" and furthermore, that the "continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL."
M.I.A. wasn't paid for her performance as is customary for halftime performers.
The singer's arbitration papers go in to great detail to make clear that the NFL's claims that she compromised their wholesomeness is biased. They point out Michael Jackson's crotch-grabbing during the 1993 halftime show and Prince's performance in which "his oversized shadow was shown caressing the neck of his stylized trademark guitar… as if stroking an erect oversized phallus." Even the Madonna performance in which M.I.A. participated is used as evidence. "The women lewdly thrust their elevated pelvic areas in a manner unmistakably evocative of sexual acts (very probably qualifying as 'indecent' under the FCC definition)..."
Some of M.I.A.'s arguments against the NFL's supposed values don't come from halftime shows, but regulations of the game itself. If a player uses the "n-word" they are punished with a 15-yard penalty, yet M.I.A. is being sued for millions of dollars. The papers also mention the proposed $765 million lawsuit for concussions suffered by former players that was rejected by a judge.
In addition to her arbitration papers, M.I.A. spoke out on Twitter and posted a photo of the scale the NFL allegedly sent her and would like to use for retribution. As you can see, depending on how much M.I.A. makes in a year, the NFL would take a percentage.
M.I.A. shouldn't have broken her contract and shouldn't have flipped her middle finger during the most watched event of the year, but one middle finger flip — that definitely didn't corrupt all of America's children for the rest of their lives and doom us all to eternal damnation — is not worth $16.6 million. The NFL is just extending their greed, so it's a good thing M.I.A. sounds like she has a strong argument against them.