The NFL's additional $15.1 million comes in "restitution"—the number was arrived at based on the alleged value of exposure M.I.A. received for appearing in Madonna's performance, and what an advertiser would have paid for this time, reports The Hollywood Reporter. In other words: The NFL seems to be equating M.I.A.'s seconds-long bird-flip with a fee for the most expensive commercial spots that exist on television.
M.I.A.'s lawyers responded in a document filed Friday: "The claim for restitution lacks any basis in law, fact, or logic." According to The Hollywood Reporter, M.I.A. also said "the continued pursuit of this proceeding is transparently an exercise by NFL intended solely to bully and make an example of Respondents for daring to challenge NFL."
M.I.A. is attempting to dismantle the NFL's claims at "wholesomeness,", bringing up halftime performances by Michael Jackson, Prince, and even Madonna that included lewd gestures. Her lawyers also point to recent NFL scandals involving racial slurs, bullying, and head trauma.
M.I.A. wrote on Twitter:
@madonna ummm ..... can i borrow 16 million ?— M.I.A (@MIAuniverse) March 17, 2014
She added, "THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT ME TO SIGN , THAT IVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR 2 YEARS ON TOP OF 16 MILLION" (See below.)