The incident took place during M.I.A.'s halftime performance with
The flicked digit came and went in a second, but the NFL took it personally. The league claims the singer-rapper, born Maya Arulpragasam, is in breach of a contract that stipulated her performance preserve the league's "reputation for wholesomeness."
The league wants a fine of $1.5 million and restitution of $15.1 million based on NFL estimates of the value of the exposure M.I.A. earned from the performance. They NFL used ad-rate figures for the game to come to that number.
M.I.A., true to form, replied rather scabrously. In documents filed by her lawyer, her team said, "The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic," according to the Hollywood Reporter.
M.I.A. made light of the situation when she sent Madonna a tweet asking to borrow $16 million.