An intimate moment between two teammates became fodder for debate thanks to the internet.
A camera caught the Atlanta Braves’ Ozzie Albies stroking teammate Ronald Acuna Jr.’s head while the two were hanging out in the dugout.
Some said Albies was consoling Acuna after he received news of his mother's death; however, Yahoo News reports Acuna's mother is still thankfully alive and well. Regardless of the reason behind the moment, the video found its way to the internet and was lauded as a healthy display of love between two men.
David Johns of the National Black Justice Coalition praised the moment, calling it "a revolutionary act," and said it led him to "wonder how different the world would be without the toxic addition of fragile white male masculinity."
Men of color loving themselves and one another is truly a revolutionary act! . . . . . I sometimes wonder how different the world would be without the toxic addition of fragile white masculinity. So we’re clear, those of you who have a visceral response that suggests anything is wrong with this image are suffering from ignorant and ill-formed assumptions about how people are expected to show up in public. It shouldn’t matter if #RonaldAcunaJr just learned that his Mother was called home (turns out she wasn’t and has posted about the rumor). #OzzieAlbies is consoling his brother and no matter the reason we should give thanks that these two brothers have the type of security in themselves and their relationship to be there for one another. So many of the challenges poor, immigrant, racial/ethnic/religious and sexual minority people face are a result of fractured bonds, the lack of support that privileged white people take for granted (you can hear the privilege dripping from the announcers flippant lips. If you want to be disgusted spend time analyzing their insensitive and unnecessary banter). We should all do better and want better for ourselves and one another. We are all human and in spite of the lies they tell we all feel and emote and sometimes need the comfort and supper of others. As my sister @justcuriouspoe so eloquently said “#ThisIsNatrual 🙄 if you see or feel anything but LOVE here you need to go somewhere quiet, hug yourself real tight then ask yourself why 🤷🏾♀️ forgive whoever hurt you & get on to #LivinYaBestLife If this was 2 women ... no sexuality would be questioned 🖕🏾 #ToxicMasculinity hell I wish men embraced each other more ... #MyBrothersKeeper #LoveYourself #LoveYourTribe #ReframeTheNarrative
On Twitter, many echoed Johns' thoughts:
Shoutout to Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. for expressing tenderness pic.twitter.com/JLLtTY6YkV— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 29, 2018
Sorry for your loss Ronald Acuña Jr.— Kevin Flatt (@KDogg1777) August 1, 2018
This is so sweet. This is what friends are for. ❤️💕 https://t.co/d6dOI2bFaf
Ozzie Albies comforting Ronald Acuña Jr. after he found out his mom died is the most tender thing I have ever seen and shows so much emotional strength.— Dr. Ada-Rhodes Short 🤖🧠 (@DinoMechanic) July 31, 2018
This is what healthy masculinity looks like, being unafraid to show emotions and hold someone who needs to be held https://t.co/hblntPQ8ZN
Grateful for men who know how to express love and care for others.— 🍇GrapeRipple🍇 (@GrapeRipple) July 31, 2018
I'm sorry but if you don't hold ya homies like this in times of need, are you even homies?— Stephon (@deku_16) July 31, 2018
Sadly, everyone didn’t feel that way. Even the game's announcers poked fun at the pair:
Ain't gotta rub my mans hair like that though— A.D. 🌹 (@viewsfromomaha) August 1, 2018
Ion care who died I’m not bout to be in between another mans legs while getting my head rubbed AKEKEKE that shit GAYYY pic.twitter.com/AkG9YZZ5yG— 💔 Nomoto Yuuya 💔 (@Fall6oy) July 31, 2018
Thankfully, folks called out the BS.
American men are so fragile and sheltered they can’t even handle seeing men show bare minimum effection to each other without thinking it’s gay. Meanwhile women do this all the time. I dare American men to visit another country and see how men interact with eachother there.— 🌙 (@JooniYves) July 31, 2018
Y’all are draggggggiiiiiiing this little moment with Ozzie Albies and Ronaldo Acuña Jr. y’all sound like ya need some affection. go hug someone. Damn.— Miss...Vanjie (@itsyagurllkeeks) August 1, 2018
People need to leave Ronald Acuna Jr alone. Let that man enjoy being comforted by his friend. Yeah the "mom dying" thing might be fake but at the same time that dont give you any more reason to spew your toxic masculinity and homophobia.— [soul cool] @Otakon (@DashingSoulJay) August 1, 2018
Can we go one day without toxic masculinity-related shenanigans?
Everyone needs a friend like Ozzie.
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