In the days leading up to Super Bowl XLVI everyone was anxious to see what Madonna would have in store for her highly anticipated halftime performance. What we didn't know is that on Monday we would all be talking about something that we would have probably never noticed unless it was brought to our attention.

Rapper M.I.A. is known for being rebellious and living a care-free life that goes against anything that would be defined as "mainstream." The 'Paper Planes' femcee took advantage of being in front of what was arguably the biggest crowd she has ever performed for and flicked off cameras during her guest rapping appearance on Madonna's new single 'Give Me All Your Luvin.' Thanks to TIVO, DVRs and the internet, a gesture that most people didn't even notice has rapidly become a "pretty big deal."

NBC was the first to quickly issue a statement addressing the incident.

The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show,” NBC said in a statement to the Hollywood Reporter. “Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers.

Then the NFL followed suit, shifting the blame back to NBC.

There was a failure in NBC’s delay system. The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans.

In the end, the three alphabets that will be paying any fines handed down from the FCC (more alphabets) will be M.I.A. The NFL has learned it's lesson with the history of performers who have used their massive halftime stage to "shock" the world with inappropriate behavior, so this time, they covered their rear ends. According to TMZ, sources with direct knowledge say that the NFL had M.I.A. sign a contract for the halftime performance,

and in that contract M.I.A. agreed to indemnify the NFL for any money it might be forced to pay if the FCC comes down on the Peacock Network.

[via TMZ]

Aside from avoiding a huge fine, the source says that the NFL also wants to send a clear message to performers -- "don't you dare screw with us." No one knows what the fine will be, but the FCC isn't known for handing out slaps on the wrist. After the whole Janet Jackson/Justin Timberlake "wardrobe malfunction" CBS was hit with a $550,000 fine. With her first and only hit being 'Paper Planes,' I wouldn't imagine M.I.A. having even half of that kind of money to waste on rebellious gestures. I also don't see her BFF Madonna helping her out with any cash being that M.I.A. stole her entire spotlight with what could be the dumbest gesture in the history of people trying to be cool.

Who do you think should have to pay when and if a fine is handed down? The NFL? NBC? or MIA?

Comment with your answer below!

M.I.A. Flips Off Camera During Madonna's Super Bowl 2012 Halftime Show

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