Middle Finger Kid is an exploitable image macro depicting a young soccer fan yelling while extending his arm with a middle finger extended towards the air. In memes, the photo is typically used to show support for sports organizations or to express anger or resentment toward a particular person, group or thing and is often photoshopped to include various elements overlaid on top of the kid.
The original photo used in the meme was taken during the UEFA final between Feyenoord Rotterdam of Netherlands and Borussia of Dortmund, Germany, on May 8th, 2002. The image of a young Feyenoord fan, later revealed to be 5-year-old Mikey Wilson, shows a boy showing support for his team, with his face painted white and red while wearing a Kappa soccer jersey, and a middle finger extended in animosity towards the opposing squad (shown below).
The original image was taken by Reuters photographer Jasper Juinen just before the 2002 UEFA final. Before the match, there was a moment of silence for the 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 Wilson, reacted by flipping the bird. The photo encapsulated the stereotypical image of the wild, die-hard, over-the-top fanaticism of European football hooligans.
Although it appeared online at least as early as 2008, it was primarily used with the original, unaltered image in profile pictures or as a reaction image before it appeared as a meme. The exact first use of the viral image in meme form is unknown, but early examples appeared around 2010 (examples shown below, left and right).
The relatable emotion of the photo, along with the humor of seeing a young child in such a vulgar expression, 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" (example seen below).
The exploitable image also became popular on blogs and social networks such as Myspace and Facebook as well as used on message boards. The image has also been co-opted for shirts available on Amazon without the consent of the boy or his father (examples shown below, left and right).
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