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Watch M.I.A.’s response to her NFL middle finger fine

M.I.A. performs during the second day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., Saturday, April 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
M.I.A. performs during the second day of the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., Saturday, April 18, 2009. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

M.I.A. is raising hell with the NFL, and it’s all over her middle finger. During her Super Bowl halftime performance with Madonna in 2012, the singer thrust a middle finger toward the camera, prompting a $1.5 million fining from the league for breach of contract. In a video M.I.A posted yesterday, she says the real problem with the performance was the other cheerleaders on stage, who were “crotch flashing” and more offensive.

The “Bad Girls” singer claims these cheerleaders were all under the age of 16 and had their “hips thrust in the air” and “legs wide open in a very sexually provocative position.” From her perspective, M.I.A. claims her gesture was simply punk rock as opposed to sexualizing women.

“Is my finger offensive or is an underage black girl with her legs wide open more offensive to the families,” M.I.A. asks. She calls the whole situation a “massive waste of time and a massive waste of money.”

In the video, M.I.A. says negotiations with the league are a waste of time and an effort to scale back her messages of female empowerment. MIA’s latest release “Matangi” is slated for release sometime in November. The singer made news in early April when she threatened to leak her own album in order to secure a release date.

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Ru Johnson is an arts and culture music writer living in Denver. You can follow her on Twitter here.