British-Sri Lankan rapper M.I.A. has poked fun at her ongoing legal battle with America’s National Football League (NFL) by asking Madonna to help out.
The controversial Hounslow-born singer is currently the target of a $16 million lawsuit filed by the powerful NFL which accuses MIA of being in “breach of contract” after she made a middle-finger gesture while performing with Madonna during the NFL Super Bowl half-time show in 2012.
The NFL had initially claimed $1.5 million in damages for “harming the League’s reputation” but recently increased that figure tenfold.
On Tuesday MIA, 38, tweeted, with tongue firmly in cheek: “@madonna ummm …can i borrow 16 million?”
While Madonna has previously expressed her admiration for the controversial rapper (real name Mathangi Arulpragasam), it’s highly unlikely that she will be helping this sista out.
The NFL’s new figure – which includes more than $15 million in “restitution” for the few minutes MIA was on air – is based on what advertisers would have paid for ads during that time.
Adverts on the Super Bowl half-time show, which is watched by tens of millions of Americans, are highly coveted with multi-nationals often paying several million for a 30-second spot.
The lawsuit against MIA is currently in arbitration. Her lawyer’s have filed a response to the suit saying that “the pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by the NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL.”
According to a report by E! Online, the documents also refers to Michael Jackson’s 1993 Super Bowl show when he “repeatedly grabbed or fondled his genitalia especially while he sang ‘Billie Jean'” and a 2007 performance by Prince when he “caressed the neck of his guitar as if stroking an erect phallus” as previous examples that the NFL has “overlooked”.
MIA has also made more public references to phalluses during her two-year battle with the NFL.
Last year she released a YouTube video accusing the League of “massive corporation dick shaking” for demanding damages for giving a one-finger salute when Madonna had employed a dozen cheerleaders under the age of 16 who struck “very sexually provocative poses” during the duo’s performance.
She added: “They want me on my knees and say sorry so they can slap me on my wrists. And basically say it’s okay for me to promote being sexually exploited as a female than to display female empowerment through being punk rock. That is what it boils down to, and I’m being sued for it.”