‘I Would Say Don’t Take It Personal’ | Bullied Viral Meme To Football Champion, Dieunerst Collin Didn’t Let Unwanted Fame Crush His Spirit

(Photo: @Jerseystar973/Twitter)

In this age of social media we all scroll past memes daily that makes us laugh or simply shake our head.

Then there are some that are unforgettable and become forever engrained in the culture of social media.

Who can forget 9-year-old Dieunerst Collin standing in the Popeyes line in what became known as “Terio at Popeyes”?

Either he was shocked or maybe he wasn’t too comfortable with so many people staring at and eventually filming him. But now that he’s older, he admits that he wasn’t too happy being made a meme. That wasn’t the kind of fame he wanted at that age.

Dieurnest Collin was a viral sensation at 9-years old because of the meme “Terio’s at Popeyes.” Now he’s a high school football champion who says going viral led to bullying that he eventually overcame.
(Photo: Twitter)

 

Being Filmed By A Stranger At 9 Years Old Was Awkward

As Collin stood in line waiting for his chicken, someone began filming him. Collin says it was a random person, and unfortunately it made him an overnight viral sensation.

“It was somebody randomly recording me and I had never been viral before. When it first came out I would take it as bullying, every time I use to hear Oh Terio, Terio,’ that’s not my name …. ” (Terio, according to Know Your Meme, happened to be another big name on Vine that Collin was said to resemble).

Collin mentioned that the initial effect of the video going viral wasn’t a pleasant experience for him.

“When it first happened, I kind of felt sad about it,” he said in a recent interview.

Collin says he was teased all that way through middle school about the situation, but “over the years, I got over it,” he revealed.

He Got Over It And Became A Football Star

With such focus and energy placed on preventing bullying in schools, it’s great to see a kid take something that could’ve been so detrimental to him and make the most of it. Collin, who lives in New Jersey, just helped his East Orange High School football team capture a state championship.

Photo: Getty Images

His tweet: “How It Started vs How It’s Going”

The story is such a human interest gem that Popeyes got in on act.

Coached Against The Kid In Pop Warner Football Nationals In Florida

As a football coach of over 20 years, one of my teams actually faced a New Jersey squad that Collin was on a few years back in Florida. I vaguely remember a happy kid that just loved being out there with his teammates while enjoying the Florida sun in December, years beyond the meme that made him a viral sensation.

Funny thing is, my players actually noticed him before I did. As a coach and developer of young men, you grow to appreciate seeing athletes overcome obstacles and winning along this journey called life. Collin is winning on and off the field, and if he decides he doesn’t want to play anymore, sports media in college is the next move.

Taking a situation from your past and making it part of your future for the better is what we strive for. He’s done just that.

In the words of Collin …. “I would say don’t take it personal.”


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