A video of Atlanta Braves’ Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. showing each other affection during the July 29 game against the LA Dodgers has gone viral. Earlier reports claimed the tender moment was a result of Acuna discovering his mom had reportedly passed away.
Acuna appears in the video getting his head rubbed while on Albies’ chest while they sit in the dugout. Although the players are best friends, the announcers are heard joking about the “head massage.” The clip began to circulate on social media with many users critiquing the “uncomfortable” embrace. The negative feedback prompted a dialogue around toxic masculinity and why some men are unable to express emotions positively and healthily.
Acuña Jr. and Albies make us feel just a little uncomfortable…
— Dave the Commish (@fci2000) July 29, 2018
Ummm, this is a first. Acuna Jr have a headache or something? pic.twitter.com/7JdStsn2gf
— Bonta Hill (@BontaHill) July 29, 2018
There was no reason given to explain why the men were so close. However, earlier reports claimed Albies was comforting Acuna for the loss of his mother. A Braves spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle that was inaccurate and that the outfielder’s mom is alive and well.
Other users hailed Albies and Acuna for their ability to be vulnerable in their friendship.
Shoutout to Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuña Jr. for expressing tenderness pic.twitter.com/JLLtTY6YkV
— Pedro Moura (@pedromoura) July 29, 2018
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.