If the NFL is serious about inviting Madonna to perform during the Super Bowl, it should drop the idea, Catholic League President Bill Donohue suggested Tuesday in response to a rumor that the controversial artist is to perform in the NFL's biggest event.
Rumors have been spread recently that Madonna is expected to perform at the Feb. 5 Super Bowl XLVI at the Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
That would be inappropriate because of the singer's long track record of religious provocation and mockery, the Catholic League president said.
"For decades, Madonna has blatantly offended Christians, especially Catholics. The offensive lyrics, lewd behavior and misappropriation of sacred symbols are reason enough not to have her perform," Donohue wrote in a statement published on Oct. 4. "Worse, she has repeatedly mocked the heart and soul of Christianity: Jesus, Our Blessed Mother, the Eucharist and the Crucifixion."
Donohue noted that in 2004, the NFL invited 'N Sync's JC Chasez to sing during the halftime of the Pro Bowl game. When Chasez said he was going to sing his latest single, "Some Girls (Dance with Women)," the NFL objected, citing the sexual character of the lyrics and saying it might potentially offend viewers.
The NFL then asked Chasez to sing "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)" instead. Chasez agreed. Then the NFL decided that the singer had to drop the lyrics "horny" and "naughty" from the song. Again, Chasez agreed. But the football league finally reconsidered the propriety of having Chasez sing altogether, and decided to withdraw the invitation. He was reportedly offered to sing the national anthem, but declined.
"The NFL cannot expect Catholics to be treated any different. Chasez may be known for some dicey lyrics, but he is chopped meat compared to Madonna," said Donohue.
In recent years, Madonna, who is known for provocative concerts and videos as well as skimpy outfits and controversial remarks, has been reportedly more closely associated with the Jewish mystical tradition of Kabbalah than with her childhood Catholicism.
The NFL has not yet confirmed the invitation. But some excited fans see another sign as a suggestion that Madonna might perform at the Super Bowl: her releasing a new album around the same time as the game. Madonna has recently been linked to producers William Orbit and DJ Martin Solveig and has said she hopes to release a single by winter. The Super Bowl would provide a grand stage to debut the song.
Critics also fear that the infamously wild Madonna might cause controversy similar to that caused by Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" at the 2004 Super Bowl.