Amber Wright's viral video hugging her 16-year-old son after his football team's win sparked online debate. Both Amber and her son Brixton defended their close-knit family bond, explaining the emotional embrace in the face of criticism.
Mom Sparks Debate After Celebratory Hug With Football-Playing Son Goes Viral
After appearing in a viral video hugging her son in an "affectionate" way, a mother defended herself in response to the critics.
The victory of her 16-year-old son's high school football team in Utah was seen on camera by Amber Wright, 38, and released in an Instagram video in August.
An emotional message of support that was meant to be shared online instead became the subject of a heated controversy as some questioned how she had embraced the teenager.
Wright is seen in the video rushing into son Brixton's arms and being lifted off the ground by him.
For a caption, Wright wrote: 'This boy will forever and always have my entire heart. Gina captured the end of this moment, and I'm SO grateful.’
'When I walked up to hug my baby boy after his game, he immediately picked me up and just held me. It may have been 20 seconds, 30 seconds, or a minute, I have no idea. But at this moment, time stood completely still.'
Despite the celebration's good intentions, a lot of online commenters immediately claimed that Wright had behaved 'inappropriately' with the kid.
One comment on the post read: 'Literally thought this was his girlfriend', while another said: 'That guy's future wife doesn’t stand a chance'.
Wright responded to the remarks by stating to Today: 'I was a proud mom hugging her kid. I never expected it to turn into something where people are like: 'You're sexually abusing him! You're grooming him! I'm calling child protective services.'
She continued: 'I come from a very affectionate family. I hug my dad every time I see him. What you saw on the football field is just how we are. Brix will pick me up and squeeze me and then put me back down.'
Wright posted images from her son's message that supported his mother's actions and said that the family's emotional match was revealed in a post on Instagram four weeks ago.
The message from Brixton read: 'My mom is my hero. I was just giving her a hug after the game and I did pick her up she did not jump on me. My mom's been the only person there for me my whole life.’
'I grew up with an alcoholic dad who would just come and go when he wanted he was great when he was sober but he wasn't he was just so dark and different. He Never really showed up to any of my games or anything like that my moms been to every single some since I've played.’
'My dad ended up committing suicide last year and this year I changed my number to 44 bc it was his death date (4/4/21). It was her first time seeing me wear it in person so obviously she was very emotional and so was I. All it was was a big hug from me to her.'
Prior to his mother personally addressing the incident, the 16-year-old posted a number of remarks in defense of his mother's activities in previous weeks.
Some social media users condemned the hug, but others praised the popular mother-and-son photo.
Wow. I have two boys that play football, and… just no.— Aleah (@Dr_Wholeah) September 4, 2023
Is that his mother? 😳— Juliette (@DateJulieB) September 3, 2023
That was so disturbing that it took me a second to understand it.— Jan Svet - XX - No DMs (@njal_svend) September 4, 2023
Very weird. I have 2 boys and would NEVER do that.— Candace🌸small-town girl (@CandaceCan88) September 4, 2023
I mean, I love all of my sons. But….not like that. That’s too much.— Coconut Unicorn 🥥🦄 (@Bosslady75110) September 4, 2023
Not really. Parents and their kids on any and all of these elite football teams rejoice in crazy mannerisms. Who am I to say they’re wrong just because it’s weird? But, it’s been the same for decades.— Mathew (@MathewCitM) September 4, 2023