m.i.a. accused of harming french soccer club by wearing its jersey in migrant crisis video

Paris Saint-Germain wants the rapper's label to "cease broadcasting" images of M.I.A. wearing its jersey.

by i-D Staff
11 January 2016, 10:35pm

image via @MIAuniverse 

Leading French soccer team Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) has sent a strongly-worded letter to M.I.A.'s record label claiming that images of the rapper wearing a modified version of the team's jersey in her Borders video has caused the club "harm". The track and its self-directed video, which M.I.A. released in November, are a response to the ongoing migrant crisis from an artist who has first-hand experience of being a refugee. When she was a child, M.I.A.'s family fled to the safety of west London from war-torn Sri Lanka.

In the Borders video, M.I.A. is seen wearing a white PSG jersey whose main sponsor slogan has been altered to say "Fly Pirates" instead of "Fly Emirates". In a letter sent to M.I.A.'s record label Universal Music in December, the club's Deputy C.E.O. Jean-Claude Blanc writes: "We consider that the use of our brand and image in a video clip denouncing the treatment of refugees is a source of discredit to our club and distorts its public communication policy." The letter concludes with a formal quest for Universal Music to "cease the broadcasting" of any images showing M.I.A. wearing the modified PSG jersey and for compensation "for the harm we have suffered".

M.I.A. has responded with cool conviction on Twitter and Instagram, sharing the letter in full and asking for her followers to "discuss" her potential legal dispute with PSG. She also tweeted, "Me and sports - it's a love hate thing," and pointed out that "Borders came out the day of Paris Memorial Day ceremony for victims of Paris attack. Having an Eiffel Tower on my tee was support I thought." She has since retweeted numerous messages of support from fans urging her not to bow to pressure from PSG, and at the time of writing, Universal Music has yet to remove the Borders video from YouTube.

Paris Saint Germain