NBA legend Michael Jordan doesn't mind the popular crying meme that's become a mainstay during just about every major sporting event. His representatives are watching to make sure nobody tries to profit off the picture, though.
TMZ Sports passed along comments from one of Jordan's reps, who said MJ is cool with it since "everyone seems to be having fun with the meme." They are still keeping tabs on the situation closely just to make sure it remains a social media phenomena and nothing more.
"We haven't seen anyone using it to promote their commercial interests, which is something that we're monitoring," Jordan's rep said.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton became the latest "victim" of the crying face after his team's loss to the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl 50 on Sunday night:
Peter Darker 🐐 @iHurdleTho
you may RT now for all your cam newton Michael Jordan crying faces memes https://t.co/BxKBiKjvtQ2/8/2016, 3:09:11 AM
The use of the image has taken on a life of its own over the past year and rarely does a week go by where at least a couple of athletes don't get the MJ meme treatment.
Those remarks about the potential commercialization of the picture from the six-time NBA champion's representative don't come as a surprise, though. The former basketball player has made a memorabilia empire with the Jordan brand and defends his rights vigorously.
Kim Janssen of the Chicago Tribune reported last August that Jordan was awarded $8.9 million by a federal jury after the owners of a defunct supermarket chain used his identity in an advertisement without getting his permission.
The report included comments from Jordan about the ruling.
"It is my name, and I've worked hard for it for 30-something years, and I'm not just going to let someone take it," he said. "It's not the type of court I like to win at. But unfortunately we ended up in this court, and I'm very happy with the result."
It's a word of warning to anybody looking to use the popular image for anything more than a few laughs on Twitter, Facebook or another social media site.
That said, it's hard to imagine the crying face going away anytime soon. It's become the go-to move after somebody endures a tough loss or embarrassing moment.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!