The hip-hop artist was seen making the gesture as she performed alongside headliner Madonna in the mini-concert. The gesture aired live on television in millions of homes despite the network's delay system, which has been employed to prevent the broadcasting of objectionable material since Janet Jackson's notorious 2004 wardrobe malfunction.
"The NFL hired the talent and produced the halftime show," NBC said in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter. "Our system was late to obscure the inappropriate gesture and we apologize to our viewers."
"There was a failure in NBC's delay system," the NFL said in a separate statement. "The obscene gesture in the performance was completely inappropriate, very disappointing, and we apologize to our fans."