Last week, it was revealed that the National Football League has been quietly pursuing a lawsuit against Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. for flipping her middle finger while performing with Madonna during the halftime festivities of Super Bowl XLVI.

Now M.I.A. has fired back at the NFL with a terse statement calling out the pro football league for hypocrisy, naming it the whole thing “a massive display of powerful corporation dick-shaking.”

The statement was released via a YouTube video, which finds M.I.A. speaking on the phone, as if she’s conducting an interview. Here is her statement in full:

“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.”

When the lawsuit was revealed, M.I.A.’s lawyer, Howard King, requested that fans help bolster her 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 do so:

Many fans have included examples in the comments beneath the video of M.I.A’s statement, mentioning the highly controversial name for Washington, D.C.’s NFL team, the Redskins, as well as the rash of player arrests that plague the league. Case in point :Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Adam “Pacman” Jones being cited for disorderly conduct during a traffic incident in Ohio over the weekend (September 22).

M.I.A.’s fourth studio album, Matangi, is scheduled for release on November 5, and is among’s 30 Most Anticipated Fall Albums for 2013 alongside upcoming full-lengths from the likes of EminemKaty Perry and Drake.


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