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M.I.A. has taken to Twitter to lambast the NFL for its (frankly ludicrous) lawsuit against her for sticking up her middle finger during the 2012 Super Bowl halftime show. The NFL wants $16.6 million from the 38-year-old star, based on their estimation of what advertisers would have paid during M.I.A.'s performance, as well as the estimated value of the exposure that she got for appearing during the show. Basically, that means the NFL want to bill M.I.A. the same amount they'd bill a multinational company for a commercial during the show.
Besides tweeting NFL legal documents (bet it's thrilled about that), M.I.A. also pointed out that her brief middle finger barely generated any real outrage, with the NFL receiving only 222 complaints about the show versus the 542,000 complaints that they received over Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" in 2004.
Her legal team have also come out with all guns blazing (you can read the document in full here). They make the interesting observation that racial slurs during NFL broadcasts are frequent: "The racist comments have been so commonplace that NFL was recently reported to be considering (only now, after many years of misbehaviour) the imposition of a 15-yard penalty against players who utter the 'n-word' on the field. This proposed 15 yard penalty contrasts with NFL's demand for a total of $16.6 million."
So the NFL wants $16.6 million from M.I.A. for flipping the bird, but is only considering a 15-yard penalty (no fine, no ban) for racial abuse on the field? For what it's worth, we're firmly on Team Maya.
In case you've forgotten the blink-and-you'll-miss-it event, here it is at the 1:53 mark:
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot