Not content at angering women all over the world, the National Football League (NFL) has now set its sight on doing the same to some of the A-list musicians.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, the league is asking some of the biggest names in music to pay for the privilege of performing in next season's Super Bowl halftime show.
It's common knowledge that the NFL doesn't pay the stars who keep the audience entertained during the half-hour-long break. Actually, until now the league felt the exposure that the gig brought to the stars was remuneration enough for their services.
But now WSJ's sources have claimed that the league is in discussions with Coldplay, Rihanna, and Katy Perry to headline the show, but would invite the one who is "willing to contribute a portion of their post-Super Bowl tour income to the league, or if they would make some other type of financial contribution."
Rumor has it that none of the three stars were receptive to the idea, and well, we’re not going to blame them. With its annual revenues already touching the $10 billion mark, it's clear the NFL remains the most lucrative sports league in the world. Then, what's with this sudden rush of greed?
It's not surprising really. Last year, the NFL commissioner, Roger Goodell said that he intends to drive the league's yearly income up to $25 billion by 2027, and demanding the Super Bowl halftime show artists to cough up the cash is clearly a step in this regard.
Add this new pay-to-play requirement to the other stringent artistic policies that the league has in regard to the show, and the gig which is still considered an honor for any artist might not remain so in years to come. Just this last season, Red Hot Chili Peppers, who take pride in playing live and never mime on their sets, were forced to do so on the NFL orders. The fans noticed it, and the entire episode did more harm than good to the band's image.
The NFL needs to realize that while setting lofty financial targets is okay, it shouldn't come at a cost of some of the most enjoyable things in this sport.