Chasez Slams NFL for Benching Him
02/06/2004 AT 01:00 PM EST
"I have had a great relationship with the NFL in the past and feel that I have been mistreated," Chasez said in a statement reported by the Associated Press.
In a later interview with the news service, Chasez said of the Super Bowl uproar caused by bandmate Justin Timberlake, who exposed Janet Jackson's breast on TV before nearly 90 million viewers: "I never in my wildest dreams thought it would affect me."
Chasez, 27, initially was to have performed "Some Girls (Dance With Women)," from his upcoming album, at the Pro Bowl's halftime. Chasez told the AP the song isn't sexual: "It's about teasing and flirting."
The singer admitted that the National Football League expressed concern over some of his lyrics and asked him to change his song choice to "Blowin' Me Up (With Her Love)," from the "Drumline" soundtrack.
"I decided to be obliging. I wanted to go with the flow and I wanted to be a team player, I wanted to come to the NFL's rescue," Chasez told AP. "If that's what it will take to put out a fire, then fine, I'll do the 'Drumline' song."
Yet the league preferred he not use the lyrics "horny" and "naughty," which appear in "Blowin' Me Up" – and which Chasez says he reluctantly agreed to change.
Brian McCarthy, a spokesman for the Pro Bowl, told the AP Thursday: "We saw what happened on Sunday, and Monday we took a look at what the performance would have been in terms of the music and dancing. We just felt it was inappropriate as we're being extremely cautious in light of what happened at the Super Bowl."
"While I agree the mishap at the Super Bowl was a huge mistake, the NFL's shallow effort to portray my music as sexually indecent brings to mind another era when innocent artists were smeared with a broad brush by insecure but powerful people," Chasez said in his statement. "That's not the America I love. Nor is this the NFL I love. I'll sing the national anthem anytime, anywhere, but not for this NFL."
Meanwhile, the new halftime program for Sunday calls for a Hawaiian extravaganza, replete with 200 hula dancers, 1,000 other dancers, drummers, conch shell blowers and local singing duo Amy Hanaiali'i Gilliom and Willie K.