The protracted legal battle over M.I.A. flipping the bird during the Super Bowl more than two years ago is still ongoing and now, the National Football League filed arbitration papers last week seeking an additional $15.1 million in restitution.
It’s the latest step in a remarkably petty witch hunt by the NFL. Here’s how it got to this point.
February 5, 2012: The New York Giants face off against the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLVI. Madonna headlines the halftime show, accompanied by LMFAO, Cee Lo Green, a slackliner, Nicki Minaj, and M.I.A. During “Give Me All Your Luvin’,” M.I.A. gives the middle finger for less than a second. The Giants win, 21–17.
February 10, 2012: Madonna talks to Ryan Seacrest about the incident. “I understand it’s punk rock and everything, but to me there was such a feeling of love and good energy, and positivity, it seemed negative,” she says. “It’s such a teenager … irrelevant thing to do … there was such a feeling of love and unity there. What was the point?” Yes, Madonna, what is the point of needlessly provoking people for attention? Please tell us.
September 19, 2013: The Hollywood Reporter reveals that the NFL has been in an extended legal battle with the singer over the incident, bringing it back into the public consciousness about 17 months after everyone had forgotten about it. The league demands $1.5 million, claiming M.I.A. breached her contract.