Rapper May Face Legal Fallout From Super Bowl Salute

Feb 10, 2012  •  Post A Comment

The rapper whose raised middle finger during the Super Bowl halftime show conjured up memories of Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” eight years ago may have some legal repercussions from the gesture, Yahoo Sports reports.

M.I.A. flashed the salute in a support role as part of Madonna’s halftime performance, triggering apologies from the NFL and NBC, as previously reported. Now it appears the British-born rapper could be in breach of her contract with the NFL.

The Yahoo story reports: “NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told Yahoo! Sports this week that the league books all its own talent for the show, and has contractual stipulations with each performer regarding their behavior. ‘We do have [safeguards regarding artist conduct] written into their contracts,’ Aiello said.”

Aiello declined to say whether M.I.A. faces a possible financial penalty for her action.

The story adds: “The NFL was unhappy that the requisite delay system, designed to allow broadcaster NBC to ensure that any offensive material be kept out of the live telecast, failed to operate properly. NBC did scramble its signal, but it came moments after M.I.A.’s remark and gesture.”

The story quotes Aiello saying: “There has been a delay system in place since the incident with Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake. The system did not work and that is something we will review. We produce the show, the network televises it, and the system is supposed to work to make sure nothing is shown of this kind. It clearly wasn’t part of the plan.”

Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction in 2004 resulted in a $550,000 FCC fine against CBS, which was later overturned in a court ruling that said the agency “acted arbitrarily” in its enforcement of indecency regulations, the story notes.

It remains unclear whether the FCC is contemplating a penalty in the M.I.A. incident.

Madonna is said to be furious with M.I.A. over the incident, the story notes.


  1. This jerk should pay a fine for offending the viewers. I notice the rapper has not offered an apology, just says it was an accident in the heat of the moment. How do you accidently tell all of America to f-off? I think the NFL should go back to Marching Bands for the half-time show, or drop it completely. I’m tired of “celebrities” misbehaving and then acting like we are prudes for being offended. Bring back civility & respect for your fellow humans please.

  2. Grow up. All this is doing is giving another talentless ‘rap star’ (Madonna called her “punk rock” which shows that nobody knows just what the hell this chick is supposed to be) all the publicity she wants. And how do you get that she told all of America to “f-off”? There’s at least three flipped birds during an average Raiders game live telecast, not to mention the f-bombs that make it through the mics to the broadcast audio. Are the Raiders fans telling all of America to f-off?
    Well, actually, they probably are but I have yet to see any of them receive a fine, FCC or otherwise.
    Best way to handle this is to ignore M.I.A.completely; don’t even mention her or the event anymore so that she actually becomes an entertainment MIA.

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