Orange County

How a soccer jersey helped make an Orlando protester famous

ORLANDO, Fla. — A yellow soccer jersey made a protester in Orlando famous and helped spread his message around the world.

Aston Mack, a University of Central Florida graduate wore an Arsenal jersey, representing the club that plays in the English Premier League, at a protest in early June. Soccer fans and media noticed, and the images quickly spread around the globe.

Read: Orlando Pride withdraws from NWSL Challenge Cup after players, staff test positive for COVID-19

Mack was even contacted by Arsenal’s front office and the team shared his story on its social media pages.

“I’m just as a little guy out here, and Arsenal’s a $14 billion value club, and they take the time out of their day to have the chief executive reach out to me,” Mack said. “It shows to me that I was correct, that my club’s values are the ones that I think that they are. Arsenal’s always preached about victory through harmony ... .”

Mack is also the founder of the Orlando Freedom Fighters, who are protesting along with Black Lives Matter, pushing for changes in the justice system.

He says they have specific items they would like to see implemented by the police in Central Florida, and they won’t stop protesting until those changes are made.

Read: Knight’s Pub liquor license suspended after dozens of employees, patrons test positive for COVID-19

Joe Kepner

Joe Kepner,

I unloaded the U-Haul in Orlando in 2008, just in time to cover the Magic's run to the 2009 NBA Finals.

Adam Poulisse,

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.

Comments on this article