M.I.A. has supposedly used “genitalia adjustments” as her defence against the NFL.

The 38-year-old singer performed with Madonna and Nicki Minaj at the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in 2012, and while onstage she flicked up her middle finger.

The National Football League is now seeking $16.6 million in restitution and damages from M.I.A. for the obscene act.

And according to TMZ the star filed legal documents dismissing the NFL’s case against her as largely baseless due to the risqué nature of previous halftime performances.

Apparently the papers use Michael Jackson’s 1993 show as an example, claiming he “repeatedly grabbed or fondled his genitalia onstage”, but these “genitalia adjustments” didn’t seem to ruffle NFL executives.

The outlet reports documents then went on to note Prince’s guitar resembled “an erect oversized phallus”, and he stroked it powerfully throughout his 2007 gig, an act which was greenlit by the professional sports league.

It is thought references to Prince and the late King of Pop’s performances was issued as proof putting up a middle finger won’t cause any long term or significant damage to the NFL. M.I.A.’s legal counsel believes her act did not dissuade sponsors from paying big money to land a Super Bowl television advert.

Brian McCarthy, spokesperson for the NFL, issued a statement shortly after M.I.A.’s surprise stage stunt in which he apologised for the incident.

"The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing and we apologise to our fans,” he said.