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NFL now pushing for $16 million+ over MIA’s finger

By | Published on Wednesday 19 March 2014


So MIA’s finger is still causing the powers that be at America’s National Football League sleepless nights. Possibly because they are still trembling at the horror of the rapper raising her middle finger at the television audience of their 2012 Super Bowl. Or possibly because they are trembling with excitement over the thought of what they might do with the $16 million they’re trying to screw out of her.

As previously reported, MIA raised her finger during a guest spot in Madonna’s half-time performance at the 2012 edition of the NFL’s biggest annual celebration of America’s inability to correctly play either football or rugby. The sporting body claims that, by raising her finger, MIA breached a contractual commitment to ensure her performance didn’t negatively impact on the “tremendous public respect and reputation” enjoyed by American football.

Even though the finger moment led to only a smattering of formal complaints from the Super Bowl’s 111.3 million viewers, the NFL has been pushing for compensation from MIA ever since, so far through a process of arbitration, something the rapper and her legal rep went public on last September.

MIA’s lawyer Howard King told The Hollywood Reporter back then: “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”.

Needless to say, such comments have not placated the NFL in anyway, and it continues to push for a pay out, with new papers being presented by both sides to the arbitrator last week. And according to The Reporter, the footballing group is now asking for $16.6 million. That constitutes the $1.5 million in compensation they’ve been demanding from the start, and another $15.1 million in restitution.

The latter claim has been added by lawyers – who may or may not be on a percentage cut of the winnings – based on the argument MIA raised her finger in a bid to capture the Super Bowl headlines for promotional gain, and therefore she should pay the NFL the going rate for promotional airtime during the big game, which works out at about $7.5 million per minute (she was on stage for two minutes).

Providing new comment on all this via Twitter earlier this week, MIA posted a proposed indemnity agreement the NFL’s lawyers also want included in any deal, covering themselves for any future third party action in relation to the finger incident (presumably in case any Super Bowl viewers suffer delayed trauma two years after the moment). The rapper also sent a cheeky tweet to Madonna asking “ummm… can I borrow sixteen million?”

Meanwhile in her latest submission to the arbitration process, MIA lists various other salacious moments during Super Bowl halftime shows past, none of which the NFL bothered themselves about. Her legal reps then add: “[The] continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of respondents for daring to challenge NFL”.