M.I.A. Fined 1.5 Million for Degrading the Wholesomeness of the NFL
Sans football, my weekends have become super-productive. I’m getting all kinds of stuff done around the house. There is also a correlation between my lack of attention and the success of my Kansas City Chiefs, who seem to always do better when I’m not watching, so when they go to the playoffs this year, I can take full credit. You’re welcome, Chiefs fans.
Whenever my NFL abstinence is in jeopardy, I seem to find articles that help keep my resolve strong. Last evening, for example, I read an article describing how the wholesomeness of the NFL was protected from M.I.A.’s un-wholesome middle finger during Madonna’s Super Bowl performance in 2012. How was this accomplished you ask? The answer: a 1.5 million dollar fine.
On February 5, 2012, M.I.A. performed as a guest of Madonna during her Super Bowl halftime performance. During her brief time on stage, M.I.A. flipped off the camera for a split second. Last week, news broke that the case, which seemed to fade away, has been quietly unfolding since March of last year. And the NFL is demanding that M.I.A. pay $1.5 million (with a public apology) for her seconds-long middle finger.
In its legal filings, the NFL said M.I.A.’s “offensive” middle-finger happened “in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl.” According to the NFL, M.I.A. breached a pre-show agreement to maintain the NFL’s “reputation for wholesomeness”; the league argues she broke the contract as a publicity stunt.
Luckily, M.I.A. is not one to take this kind of bullshit quietly. She released the following statement, and it makes some damn good points:
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 for has my middle finger in the foreground, and the larger picture where it zooms out is a row 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 all wearing cheerleader outfits, hips thrusted in the air, legs wide open, 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 OK 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.
Since wholesome entertainment is what Blackbird readers have come to expect from the content here at 4&20 Blackbirds, I’d like to offer an amazing performance by some very talented kids of the song 46 and 2, by Tool. Enjoy!