It wasn’t until the day after the Eagles parade that Kiro Mankarious posted his now-famous video to Twitter.
The clip, which shows two white police officers getting down with a mostly black crowd of dancing fans, had been relatively popular on his Snapchat. So Mankarious, a 17-year-old senior at Eastern Regional High School in Voorhees, tweeted it out.
And then the notifications started coming in.
“It was getting one retweet a minute,” Mankarious told Billy Penn, “and then a couple and then tens and then more.”
The clip was shot around 3 p.m. on parade day at a gas station near LaScala’s Pronto, he said, where he and his friends had stopped for a bite to eat. They’d given up on getting close to the Ben Franklin Parkway, where Jason Kelce and the rest of the Eagles were giving speeches.
At the gas station, “I saw the cops nearby and they looked like they were about to join the crowds,” Mankarious recalled, “so I thought I’d capture it for my snap. It all happened really fast. Everyone just went nuts when the cops came closer towards the circle.”
Eventually, Mankarious’s post of the video was retweeted more than 16,700 times, garnering nearly 43,000 likes along the way. The 370 replies to the original tweet hinted at what made the capture so popular.
In addition to the RTs and replies, hundreds more quote-tweeted the post, including the official account of the Philadelphia Police.
Many added commentary about how it showed something different from what they were used to seeing in viral videos involving officers and people of color. The sentiment wasn’t restricted to Americans; the tweet was quoted by accounts in many countries, and comments showed up in various languages.
“Videos like this give hope,” tweeted one person in French.
And then there were the people who snagged the video and posted it as their own. Sportsradio 94WIP’s Brian Haddad apparently did this, adding the inspirational caption: “The Eagles winning the Super Bowl might just save the world.” He wasn’t along in repurposing Mankarious’s clip.
“Many people stole the vid and posted it all over the internet,” Mankarious said, “giving me no credit.”
When others did ask for permission, including Sports Illustrated and Sport Bible, Mankarious did agree, as long as they gave him credit.
Turns out he’d already sold the rights to the clip — to viral video specialists WorldStarHipHop. For a grand total of $1, sent via PayPal.
“After I took the video, I sent it to [WorldStar] and was freaking when they replied,” Mankarious said. “So I decided to immediately take the deal for one dollar. At the time I did not think the video would be as big as it was…”
But the teen, who came to the U.S. from Alexandria, Egypt, when he was less than a year old and has been an Eagles fan all his life, didn’t feel too badly about his missed opportunity to profit.
“I loved the experience I got out of it,” he said, noting that even his teachers were talking about the next day in school.
“Winning the Super Bowl brought everyone together, whether you liked football or not,” Mankarious said.
“It truly was an experience of a lifetime.”