Watch M.I.A.'s response to her NFL middle finger fine - Reverb

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.

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  • Upset Aunt

    I strongly think BOTH the NFL (and their commissioner) and M.I.A. have some equal share of blame on this issue. The NFL should have never allowed this type of performance during a Super Bowl halftime show and the league has not learned since the 2004 incident involving Janet Jackson. I feel that Mr. Goodell and the league need to think carefully of who to have perform during the Super Bowl Halftime Show and look at the performer’s concert videos on Youtube to see if the performer is behaving appropriately and if there’s any inappropriate behavior (flipping the bird, etc.) then they will not perform. That should crack down on the controversy surrounding halftime shows once and for all. The league needs to think about young viewers and good judgment in general and needs to choose wisely who’ll perform.
    On the other hand, M.I.A. is also and 100 percent responsible for her poor judgment during the SB 46 halftime show, knowing that there are children watching the game. Her bad decision impacted many people, including families with parents probably having to explain that her behavior is inappropriate. She should not have been allowed to perform at the halftime show if this is what she would do. The league should not allow her to perform at any more games until her behavior changes.
    In conclusion, both sides are at fault (NFL-25 percent, M.I.A. 75 percent. MIA gets more of the blame because of her poor judgment and the league, including the commissioner 25 percent for not choosing carefully) and hopefully this nonsense no longer happens. I’d like to watch the Super Bowl without inappropriate behavior which winds up being the topic the next day.