M.I.A vs. the NFL
It looks like our controversial, yet always entertaining Sri Lanka singer/rapper M.I.A. is stirring up trouble once again. But this time it looks like she is in a fight with the NFL. The NFL is suing M.I.A. for 1.5 million dollars for giving the middle finger at the Super Bowl half time show way back in February. M.I.A. is not giving up without a fight; she is refusing to pay her fine.
Now for those who did not see the performance, M.I.A. flipped the bird during her part in Madonna’s single ‘Give Me All Your Luvin’’, while mouthing, “I don’t give a sh*t.” Like me, and the rest who saw it, we just shrugged it off and moved on. As it turns out the NFL did not forget about it. Not only does the league want the 1.5 million dollars, they also want an apology. The NFL wanted to keep the lawsuit on the down low, but knowing M.I.A. she is not going to make it that easy.
Instead of keeping the whole thing quiet, M.I.A. released her statement and thoughts on the NFL’s lawsuit via a YouTube video. M.I.A. said, “The NFL thing is ridiculous. It’s been making me laugh for awhile now, but now it’s so boring I don’t even laugh anymore.”
M.I.A. argues that in the performance Madonna had sixteen year old girls wearing very provocative outfits that were far more inappropriate than her finger, “Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience?”
She continues with saying, “Basically, they can say it’s okay for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock.”
The NFL responded with saying, “On account of her gesticulation supposedly amounting to a breach of contract, and a tarnishing of the institution’s ‘goodwill and reputation’… the offensive gesture was in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl.”
Of course with that statement, M.I.A. and her lawyer Howard King had a field day. King was quick to respond and replied, “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.”
Personally, I feel that this whole lawsuit is a giant waste of time. Not because of my love for M.I.A., but because I just do not see the big deal.
To me, if NBC and the FCC did not care and did not want to go after M.I.A. then neither should the NFL. Sure M.I.A. did not need to give the finger. She could have been more thoughtful of her action, but there have been far worse things seen on live television. Let us not forget that wonderful half time show back in 2004 where the world saw that “accidental” mess that was Janet Jackson’s top falling off.
This whole lawsuit could not have come at a worse time for the singer/rapper. Not only has M.I.A. had to face adversity concerning controversy within the NFL, but she also has to deal with the refusal of promotion with her upcoming album, Matangi. It seems that M.I.A. cannot catch a break. But you know what they say, “any publicity is good publicity.” What can you expect from one of the worlds most controversial artists.