The story of 3 friends and the powerful protest photo that has gone viral

The boys consider each other brothers.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
By Rachel Paula Abrahamson

A photo of three childhood friends protesting the tragic death of George Floyd has gone viral on social media.

In the image, Kiitan Amao and Moyo Badun, who are black, and Sean Hill, who is white, are shown at a peaceful rally in Dundalk, Ireland, on Tuesday.

Hill’s sign reads, “I’m not black but I see U. I’m not black but I hear. I’m not black but I will Fight 4 u.”

Amao, 18, shared the picture alongside a throwback that was taken at a birthday party in 2006. The side-by-side shots have since been liked more than a million times on Twitter.

Kiitan Amao, Moyo Badun and Shaun Hill protesting in Ireland on June 2, 2020.Fra Lucchesi
Kiitan Amao, Moyo Badun and Shaun Hill as children. Kiitan Amao

The trio, who grew up playing soccer together, consider each other family.

“Sean’s parents and Moyo’s parents took me in like their own and was always in my corner,” Amao told TODAY Parents. “They did this because their sons and I created such a rare bond.”

Amao recalled how Hill “never looked the other way” when he and Badun experienced discrimination at school and on the soccer field.

“Sean would always speak up on it,” Amao revealed.

Hill said he could never be silent.

“It hurts me in a way I can’t describe,” he told TODAY Parents.

Moyo Badun, Shaun Hill and Kiitan Amao at their communion. Courtesy of Sean Hill

Though Amao never expected his tweet to garner so much attention, he is glad that it did.

“It shows the power of brotherhood … and how any race and any color can unite as one,” he said.

Added Badun, “We’ve been through everything together and that will never stop. We will be brothers for life.”