Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Christopher Polk/Getty Images

Back in February 2012, what was supposed to be Madonna‘s crowning achievement – rocking the world with a glitzy halftime performance during Super Bowl XLVI – turned into a whirlwind of controversy when featured performer M.I.A. extended her middle finger while mouthing an obscene statement directly into the camera.

While the ensuing fallout drew the ire of critics, fans and Madonna herself, the residual effects of M.I.A’s shocking gesture soon faded from public consciousness.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, however, the National Football League has been aggressively pursuing M.I.A. to pay $1.5 million “for allegedly breaching her performance contract and tarnishing its goodwill and reputation.”

The lawsuit against the Sri Lankan singer was filed by the NFL last March. The league’s legal team just last week attempted to find M.I.A. liable so she can be taken to trial over the incident. According to her lawyer, she’s on the verge of striking back.

“She is going to go public with an explanation of how ridiculous it was for the NFL and its fans to devote such furor to this incident,” said Howard King, M.I.A.’s lawyer, “while ignoring the genocide occurring in her home country and several other countries, topics she frequently speaks to.”

King went on to question the NFL’s “claimed reputation for wholesomeness,” and is ready to take on the NFL in court, calling out “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.”

The lawyer has even reached out to the public to “help bolster M.I.A.’s defense” by submitting “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,” even providing an email address to send them:

An NFL spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that “any monetary damages for her actions would have been donated to charity.”

This legal revelation comes to light as M.I.A. is preparing to release her long-awaited fourth studio album, Matangi, on November 5.

UPDATE: Watch M.I.A. Fire Back at NFL for Super Bowl Middle-Finger Lawsuit: ‘It’s A Massive Waste of Time’

– Scott T. Sterling,


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