The NFL is demanding more than $16 million from M.I.A. after the singer flipped the bird during her guest appearance in Madonna's Super Bowl XLVI halftime show. The sports league has been quietly pursuing the British rapper in arbitration over her middle finger gesture and has just added $15.1 million to its claim.
The NFL has previously asked for $1.5 million for allegedly breaching her performance contract and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation. The additional $15.1 million is for "restitution" and is reportedly the value of her two minutes of screen time that advertisers would have paid for.
She took to Twitter to show what the NFL wanted, posting a screengrab of an email detailing the calculation of the "restitution". "This is what they want me to sign, that I've been fighting for two years on top of $16 million," she wrote.
M.I.A. is fighting against the demand. In response papers filed on Friday, she stated, "The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic." The paperwork also condemned the "profane, bawdy, lascivious, demeaning and/or unacceptable behavior by its players, team owners, coaching and management personnel and by performers chosen and endorsed by NFL to perform in its halftime shows."
It, furthemore, cited several risque acts during Super Bowl halftime show in the past years. Unlike Janet Jackson's infamous "Nipplegate" affair, the NFL allegedly could have predicted Michael Jackson's "genitalia adjustments" at the 1993 Super Bowl. During his performance of "Billie Jean", the King of Pop grabbed his crotch.
It also pointed out the fact that Prince "was shown caressing the neck of his stylized trademark guitar...as if stroking an erect oversized phallus in a manner reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix" in 2007. M.I.A. claimed "NFL knew in advance exactly what would be presented, from pre-game rehearsal and from the stage set configuration."
In her response, the "Sunshowers" singer additionally said that the NFL and NBC were responsible for the failure of their five-second delay which could've censored her. "NFL, and NBC, failed to exercise ordinary care in the conduct of the Halftime show by not activating the '5 second delay' system in place for the broadcast," the document stated.
"Any alleged fault or liability of Respondents should be diminished by NBC's dereliction. Discovery has not been taken yet to determine whether contractually NBC owed a duty to NFL to properly operate the delay system. Very likely that is indeed the case."
THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT ME TO SIGN , THAT IVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR 2 YEARS ON TOP OF 16 MILLION pic.twitter.com/PMurD3oVFL— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) March 17, 2014