EAST ORANGE — A college athlete born and raised in New Jersey has signed a deal to finally profit off his viral fame as the “Popeyes meme kid” for almost a decade.
Dieunerst Collin was 9 years old when a stranger videoed him coming out of a fast food restaurant, mistaking him for another child who was already “internet famous.”
The image has been used ever since to express “side-eye” disapproval or suspicion.
Collin went on to become a standout football player for East Orange High School — his team won a state championship game in triple overtime in November 2021.
He then enrolled at Lake Erie College in Ohio, where he is a freshman offensive lineman.
A side-by-side photo of Collin from the "Popeyes meme" and on the field for East Orange High began to draw support in January — as Collin urged commenters to tag the fast food giant in order to “talk.”
Popeyes listened within two weeks and responded on Twitter.
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