M.I.A. is currently facing a legal battle with the NFL for a brief gesture of her middle finger at the Superbowl Halftime Show in February 2012. She is being sued by the NFL for $1.5 million over the incident according to the Hollywood Reporter. Read more.
Artist and activist, M.I.A. has had a year of fighting battles, and in these last few month more light has been shed on her legal battle with the NFL and current tug-of-war with her label, Interscope Records. M.I.A.’s new album, Matangi, has been re-scheduled to release on November 5th, after Interscope pushed back the release from it’s original date in April. With the release of her video for “Bring the Noize,” and the streams of the new tracks “Only 1 U,” “UNBREAK my Mixtape,” and “Come Walk with Me,” M.I.A. has been on a roll. Even with the back and forth indecision of her album’s release date, nothing is quite as stirring as the latest news of M.I.A.’s latest legal battles.
In February 2012, M.I.A. performed on stage with Madonna at the NFL Superbowl Halftime Show, and according to the Hollywood Reporter, her seconds-long middle finger gesture has caused the NFL to take this to court. The network that aired the Superbowl, NBC, and the FCC have not made any announcement following the incident as to their moving forward with legal action against the artist, which makes the NFL’s $1.5 million lawsuit even more shocking. Since this information has been made public, M.I.A. and her lawyer, Howard King, have made statement rallying fans together to fight the NFL’s lawsuit. The statements made by both M.I.A. and her lawyer plead with the public to see the hypocrisy of claiming that her halftime performance damaged the NFL’s ‘wholesome’ reputation, especially with recent scandals within the league.
Of course, 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, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams. We encourage people to submit their examples of how the actions of the NFL, its stars, coaches, advertisers, broadcasters, team doctors and owners have damaged or destroyed any vestiges of any reputation for wholesomeness ever enjoyed by the NFL. These submissions, which we plan to use to bolster M.I.A’s defense, will help balance the playing field, as they very well could eliminate the burden of undertaking a formal survey of the history of unwholesome behavior, can be made to the M.I.A defense team by email to NFL@khpblaw.com.” – Howard King
According to the Hollywood Reporter, a spokesperson for the NFL announced that any of the money received from M.I.A. for ‘damages’ and her alleged breach of contract, will go to charity.