M.I.A stuck her middle finger up at whoever was watching the 2012 Superbowl when she performed on it last year and we've all been in counselling ever since.

While we collectively healed and grew from the experience, the NFL have been waging a war behind the scenes with her people, asking for $1.5 million in reparations and a public apology.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed documents that show the NFL taking legal action against M.I.A last year. Apparently her "offensive gesture" was dropped "in flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Superbowl."

It's hard to see how the organisation didn't see something like this coming given her outspoken political stances, but the NFL continue to claim that she had signed a contract stating she would "ensure that all elements of [her] performance, including without limitation [her] wardrobe, shall be consistent with such goodwill and reputation."

Apparently flippin' the bird breached that contract to stir up publicity.

The word from M.I.A's lawyer Howard King on the matter is that the gesture was so insignificant that even with a seven second delay on the broadcast it slipped past the FCC and NBC reporters. "[E]ither the operator fell asleep or the gesture was so fleeting he never saw it," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "In fact, no one would have seen it but for the advent of DVRs and the ability to freeze frame."

Her legal team is about to step up with a public explanation of how ridiculous it was for the NFL and its fans to devoteso much time and energy to the incident.

King also pulls the organisation's moral high ground into question, adding the fact that M.I.A's middle finger gained so much attention "while ignoring the genocide occurring in her home country and several other countries, topics she frequently speaks to," adding:

Of course, the NFL's claimed reputation for wholesomeness is hilarious in light of the weekly felonies committed by its stars, the bounties placed by coaches on opposing players, the homophobic and racist comments uttered by its players, the complete disregard for the health of players and the premature deaths that have resulted from same, and the raping of public entities ready to sacrifice public funds to attract teams...

To help M.I.A.'s case, King is also seeking out fans to submit examples of how members and affiliates of the league, from coaches and players to advertisers, "have damaged or destroyed any vestiges of any reputation for wholesomeness ever enjoyed by the NFL."

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