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A photo taken of a young fan of the Dutch Feyenoord Rotterdam soccer team in 2002 shows a boy showing support for his team in a very startling way. The young boy, face painted white and red, wearing a Kappa soccer jersey with the Feyenoord logo, appears to be extending his middle finger, albeit partially, in animosity towards the opposing squad.
The image was of young Mikey Wilson, then five-years-old, taken by Reuters photographer Jasper Juinen. It was taken just before the 2002 UEFA final between Feyenoord and Borussia of Dortmund Germany. Before the match, there was a moment of silence for controversial Dutch Politician Pim Fortuyn. Fortuyn, an outspoken critic of Islam, had been assassinated two days prior. German fans objected to the moment silence. Many Dutch fans, including young Mikey, reacted by flipping the bird. The photo encapsulated the stereotypical image the wild, die-hard, over-the-top fanaticism of European Football hooligans.
The universally identifiable emotion of the photo, along with the hilarity of seeing a young child in such a vulgar pose, made it popular for use by fans of many different sports. It became an exploitable used by many fans to show support of their team. Most notably, It was used by Boston Red Sox fans, who photoshopped the Red Sox logo over the Feyenoord Rotterdam logo. Here the image came to be known as the ‘Yankees suck Kid’
The exploitable image has also become popular on blogs and social networks such as Myspace and Facebook as well as use on message boards.
The image has also been coopted for shirts available on Amazon without the consent of the boy or his father.
In 2008, retired Major League baseball player and Former ESPN Analyst Harold Reynolds wrote a satirical interview with the boy on his blog “Hugging Harold Reynolds”.
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