In 2009, during his Basketball Hall of Fame induction, Michael Jordan gave a moving speech that brought him to tears. And it’s that simple screenshot of Jordan’s crying face that has become one of the most popular Internet memes ever.
From Twitter to Tumblr, Jordan’s tears have flowed and been posted millions of times. Someone even took the time out to make a primer on how and when to use the Jordan meme.
But one has to wonder how Jordan feels about his face being splattered all over the Internet and going down in meme history. Although Jordan hasn’t commented on it personally, as of yet, a rep did give TMZ some insight.
“Everyone seems to be having fun with the meme,” the rep told TMZ.
But don’t have too much fun with it. Basically, there’s one way not to use the Jordan meme. If you try to make a profit off it, Jordan will probably launch into protecting his brand.
“We haven’t seen anyone using it to promote their commercial interests, which is something that we’re monitoring,” the rep continued.
So don’t put the crying meme on a T-shirt to sell online. Don’t put the crying meme on a hat. Just don’t try to make a profit from it. The last business that used Jordan’s image without permission was a supermarket chain, and the only way to express how much it lost in the end is, of course, the crying meme.