Wednesday, March 26, 2014

One more reason to love (ahem) the NFL

Let me get this straight.

The NFL has no problem employing murderers, rapists, dog torturers, drunk drivers, women assaulters, druggies, and all sorts of other various and sundry miscreants, as long as they can throw a ball, catch a ball, run with a ball, or put out of commission those who can throw a ball, catch a ball, or run with a ball.

The NFL has no problem with running an outfit where cretinous bullying, homophobic slurs, use of the N-word, and misogynist prattling are standard locker room operating procedure.

The NFL has no problem with having scantily clad cheerleaders shaking their pompoms, boobs, and booties on the the sidelines to urge on the home team, and give their male fans something to cheer about, not matter how the game’s going..

The NFL has no problem taking a look-the-other-way posture towards the brain damage caused by the sport, until the evidence (and the outcry) becomes so overwhelming that they can’t not acknowledge it. And then, although the league has more money than Carlos Slim, putting together a fund that will yield the average over-concussed, brain damaged players – most of whom never made all that much money while playing – an exceedingly paltry payout.

But it is shocked, yes, shocked that a rap singer gave the finger and mouthed the words “I don’t give a shit” while appearing as a glorified extra for Madonna’s show during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime extravaganza. So shocked, that it has:

…added more than $15 million to its arbitration claim against singer-rapper M.I.A., demanding a total of $16.6 million for "restitution," according to The Hollywood Reporter. (Source: Rolling Stone.)

In truth, I’ve never heard of M.I.A. although – given that the Patriots were in it – I probably watched at least some part of this Super Bowl.

Now that I’ve gone to the google, I now know that she’s a British “recording artist”, of Sri Lankan background, who’s no kid – she’s 38 – who, of course, should probably have known better than to give the finger and mouth the words “I don’t give a shit” during the holiest of holy events on the American cultural calendar.

But, gee, given that the guys on the field are bashing each others brains out, and given that it’s not to hard to see at least one player mouthing the F-word during a game, how did some unknown entertainer’s trespass cause the NFL $16.6 million worth of harm?

Last September, news came out that the NFL was seeking $1.5 million for breach of contract and "flagrant disregard for the values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl." The additional $15 million is reportedly the value, in advertising dollars, of her two minutes of screen time.

“The values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand and the Super Bowl.”

Values like the one promoted by the salacious ads that GoDaddy apparently pays $15 million to sponsor.

Oh, puh-leeze!

M.I.A.'s response to the new claim describes the NFL as bullies looking to "make an example" of her for "daring to challenge the NFL." "The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic," her paperwork said.

Furthermore, M.I.A.'s response condemned the "profane, bawdy, lascivious, demeaning and/or unacceptable behavior by its players, team owners, coaching and management personnel and by performers chosen and endorsed by NFL to perform in its halftime shows."

I’m with M.I.A. – who also cited Michael Jackson’s 1993 Super Bowl crotch grab in her response – on this one. Her response further points out that the NFL and NBC who broadcast this debacle spectacle that is Super Bowl, should have been able to catch M.I.A. in the act and censor it using their supposed delay mechanism.

Truly, if I needed yet another reason to sneer at the NFL, this would be a good one.

The “values that form the cornerstone of the NFL brand.”

I know I’ve already said it, but, oh, puh-leeze.

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