M.I.A. vs. NFL - (Not So) Secret Legal War Over Super Bowl Middle Finger
On February 5, 2012, M.I.A. performed as a guest of Madonna during the halftime of the Super Bowl
On February 5, 2012, M.I.A. performed as a guest of Madonna during the halftime of the Super Bowl XLVI game between the New York Giants and New England Patriots. During her brief performance of “Give Me All Your Luvin,” she extended her middle finger ” while mouthing, “I don’t give a sh*t.” The NFL and the broadcasting network network NBC, however, did. In a March 13, 2012, filing at the American Arbitration Association, the league demanded $1.5 million from the artist for allegedly breaching her performance contract and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation. Although NBC and the FCC seemed to have remained silent on the issue for the most part in the past 18 months, the NFL called the middle-finger an “offensive gesture” in its legal filings, “in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl.” It should come as no surprise that M.I.A. has decided to turn on action in response to this and let her lawyer Howard King tell The Hollywood Reporter that she plans to launch a public assault on the powerful football league’s claims of being a brand devoted to high morals.”
“She is going to go public with an explanation of how ridiculous it was for the NFL and its fans to devote such furor to this incident, while ignoring the genocide occurring in her home country and several other countries, topics she frequently speaks to.
Of course, the NFL’s claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious, in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams.”
He further added stated he and M.I.A. are now enlisting fans’ help in their battle with the NFL:
“We encourage people to submit their examples of how the actions of the NFL, its stars, coaches, advertisers, broadcasters, team doctors and owners have damaged or destroyed any vestiges of any reputation for wholesomeness ever enjoyed by the NFL. These submissions, which we plan to use to bolster M.I.A’s defense, will help balance the playing field, as they very well could eliminate the burden of undertaking a formal survey of the history of unwholesome behavior, can be made to the M.I.A defense team by email to NFL@khpblaw.com.”
A spokesperson for NFL told The Hollywood Reporter that any monetary damages the league takes from M.I.A. will be “donated to charity.”