Published Sep 23, 2013M.I.A. has been embroiled in a legal battle with the NFL after giving the finger during Madonna's 2012 Super Bowl halftime show. As recently reported, the football league is demanding that she pay $1.5 million and issue an apology, but the singer is standing her ground, and she has now issued a statement in regards to the dispute
In a filmed statement, M.I.A. said while talking into a telephone:
The NFL thing is completely ridiculous. It's been making me laugh for a while, but now it's so boring I don't even laugh anymore. So, the precise moment in question — and you can actually freeze-frame this, as many media outlets have. The frame you're looking at basically has my middle finger in the foreground, and if you find the larger picture where it zooms out, there is a row — background scenery — of 10, 15 cheerleaders, young black females, that Madonna got from a local high school in Indianapolis, and they were all under 16. If you look at them, they're wearing cheerleader outfits, hips thrusted in the air, legs wide open, and in this very sexually provocative position.
So, now, they're scapegoating me into figuring out the goalposts on what is offensive in America. Like, is my finger offensive, or is the underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the family audience? That's basically what it comes down to. It's a massive waste of time, a massive waste of money. It's a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking. They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrist. Basically, so 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. That is what it boils down to, and I'm being sued for it.
The NFL has claimed that M.I.A.'s "offensive gesture" was done "in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl." A legal conflict has been taking place behind the scenes since last year.