Michael Jordan: A Sports Icon or a Sports Image?

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During the award ceremony where Michael Jordan received a Presidential Medal of Freedom, Barack Obama noted that Jordan was “more than just an internet meme.” But this meme has blown up and is one that almost everyone knows. It is used after a loss of some kind where the victim of ridicule is upset. The person’s head is either replaced with or combined with the face of Michael Jordan during his Hall of Fame induction ceremony. Jordan was crying during the ceremony, and the photographers at the event captured the moment. Three years later, the image was used after Jordan decided to buy the Charlotte Bobcats, a very unsuccessful NBA basketball team. Ever since Jordan bought the Bobcats, the meme has been circulating the internet.


The “Crying Jordan Meme” is used mostly after sports losses. For example, a picture of Golden State Warriors star Stephen Curry with Jordan’s face was extremely popular on social media after the Warriors blew a 3-1 series lead against LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2016 NBA Finals. But the meme is not only applied to sports losses. The meme spread like wildfire during the Presidential election, victimizing losing candidates like Marco Rubio, Bernie Sanders, Jeb Bush, and Hillary Clinton.


Michael Jordan, as Barack Obama said, is not just a meme. He is a 6 time NBA Champion, a 6 time NBA Finals MVP, a 5 time MVP, and the best basketball player to ever play the game. He is also famous for his performance in the 1988 Gatorade Dunk Contest, where he flew through the air to dunk the ball from the free throw line, for his endorsements with Nike and his “Air Jordan” shoes, and for his acting as the human teammate of Bugs Bunny and friends from the movie Space Jam. Michael Jordan is more than just a meme, he’s an international sports icon.

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