The National Football League is pursuing rapper M.I.A. for approximately $16.6 million for flipping the bird during her performance in Madonna’s Super Bowl XLVI Halftime show back in 2012.
As reported by The Hollywood Reporter, the NFL has spent the last two years in arbitration against M.I.A. The league first demanded $1.5 million from M.I.A. for her birdie that forced the NFL and NBC, who televised the event, to apologize to viewers.
The NFL, who claims that her actions damaged the league’s reputation and breached her contract, has now included an additional claim of restitution totaling a whopping $15.1 million.
The NFL declared that her two minutes of air time was worth $15.1 million, because it was the amount advertisers paid for two minutes during that year’s game.
However, the rapper fired back in her own arbitration papers, stating “the claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic,” and that the NFL is bullying her and trying to make an example of her “for daring to challenge NFL.”
M.I.A.’s lawyer, Howard King, intends to show that the NFL is simply making an example of his client by pointing out how the league has chosen to turn a blind eye on past performers, coaches, and players’ lewd discretions during NFL programming.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Howard is citing Michael Jackson’s crouch grabbing scene during the 1993 halftime show, inappropriate guitar caressing in Prince’s 2007 performance, and even tactless dancing in Madonna’s own performance in 2012.
In her response to the league, M.I.A. has also placed blame on NBC for failing “to exercise ordinary care in the conduct of the Halftime show by not activating the ’5 second delay’ system in place for the broadcast.”
M.I.A. is continuing to fiercely fight the legal battle, but took to Twitter on Mar. 17 writing, “@madonna ummm ….. can i borrow 16 million ?”