M.I.A. Called Her Super Bowl Middle Finger A ‘Punk Rock’ Display Of Female Empowerment

The NFL has been quietly suing rapper M.I.A. because she flipped off the cameras during her live performance with Madonna at Super Bowl XLVI, and the league is demanding that she pay $1.5 million (which will go to charities) and offer up a public apology. Because of this, M.I.A.’s lawyer came out last week and told us that the rapper was going to drop the hammer of unholy hypocrisy on the NFL because the league has been responsible for so many greater offenses against its so-called wholesome family image than just one stupid middle finger.

Her lawyer also claimed that we, as fans, should be more concerned with the genocide in her home country than with her “offensive” act, but neither that nor any of that other stuff was even remotely mentioned in this video that M.I.A. released yesterday. Instead, the rapper calls herself the NFL’s scapegoat and says that the teenage cheerleaders that Madonna brought in were far more offensive. I’m not quite sure she understands that word, scapegoat.

Okay, a few thoughts about this response that we expected to be far more damning:

– I totally agree with M.I.A. about how stupid this is at its core. A middle finger. Big deal. TV shows can say “shit” on networks now. Seriously, watch any episode of TBS’ Men at Work or USA’s Suits and see how proud they are when they use “shit” for the one time that the FCC now allows. But $1.5 million and a public apology over a middle finger? Get bent, Roger.

– What did the NFL expect from Madonna and M.I.A. in the first place? I know that the NFL has tried to veer more toward family friendly halftime acts ever since Janet Jackson’s titty popped out by simply going older, but Madonna regularly breaks out an AK47 at her shows and pretends to shoot the crowd (it’s art, yo) while M.I.A.’s biggest hit uses gunfire as a backdrop. I’d say the NFL was lucky to only get a middle finger out of this.

– What was the point of this video? To remind everyone how edgy and “punk rock” she is? Man, if a middle finger is punk rock, then Sid Vicious must be spinning in his grave. Can we have Johnny Rotten and Henry Rollins create a punk rock boot camp for all of today’s so-called “punk rock” music artists like M.I.A.? If anything, it would be worth it to see Avril Lavigne cry.

The point should have been for M.I.A. to quickly run down the incredibly easy list of offenses that NFL players have committed in the last year alone. She could have not said one word while holding up photos of Riley Cooper and Aaron Hernandez, and then closed out by making a dismissive wanking gesture over a clip of Roger Goodell talking about the league’s commitment to anything.

Or maybe M.I.A. just has an album coming out soon. Haha, of course she does! “Matangi” will be available in stores and on iTunes on November 5.