NFL wants “restitution” over performer’s middle finger gesture

The National Football League had already been seeking $1.5 million in arbitration for alleged contractual breach against rap singer M.I.A. for extending her middle finger during a performance at the 2012 Super Bowl. “Now the NFL has added an additional claim, seeking $15.1 million more in ‘restitution’ as the alleged value of public exposure she received by appearing for an approximately two minute segment during Madonna’s performance. The figure is based on what advertisers would have paid for ads during this time.” [Hollywood Esq.]


  • Image mgmt. The NFL is sending a message to future performers to stay on script.

  • I can understand the original complaint by the NFL regarding the use of her middle finger. She signed a contract in which it probably gave explicit instructions on what is acceptable behavior and what is not. It is reasonable that NBC and the NFL were concerned about possible fines levied by the FCC for the stunt. She broke the contract in what I suspect was a deliberate publicity stunt–pay up M.I.A.

    I don’t understand the additional $15.1.

  • Clarification:

    I understand how the NFL came to the $15.1 million, I do not understand why the NFL thinks it is entitled to it.

  • Hiring a rapper = assumption of the risk.

  • Seeing as this is still generating publicity for the Super Bowl and NFL, it seems that perhaps M.I.A. should be entitled to some compensation for the League’s enrichment via publicity.