If you’ll recall, during Madonna’s performance during half time of the 2012 Super Bowl, co-performed and British rapper M.I.A. declared “Imma say this one, yeah, I don’t give a s***” and began flipping off the worldwide audience. Because that’s really shocking, right? She’s rebelling against our staid and buttoned-down culture by doing a really solid imitation of a 14 year old!
Well, no one was all that impressed—especially Madonna, apparently—least of all the National Football League. According to The AV Club, in March of 2012, the NFL entered into arbitration with M.I.A., seeking $1.5 million from the rapper for “allegedly breaching her performance contract.”
Technically, M.I.A. wasn’t paid for her Super Bowl performance with money (rather, the payment was the amount of worldwide exposure she received), but she did sign a contract stipulating “the great value of the goodwill associated with the NFL and the tremendous public respect and reputation for wholesomeness enjoyed by the NFL,” and that “all elements of [her] performance, including without limitation [her] wardrobe, shall be consistent with such goodwill and reputation.” So, you know, not saying “s***” and then flipping of her audience.
Now, after 18 months of arbitration, the NFL is pushing to move the proceedings into a public trial, after which the organization would donate the $1.5 million to charity. In response to this, M.I.A.’s lawyer, Howard King, let loose with an admittedly pretty apt retort:
“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.”
What do you think of the NFL vs. M.I.A. news?