Riverfront in Montgomery, Alabama, the site of the famous brawl (Image source: YouTube/11 Alive)
The Black male who famously dived into the Alabama River and swam to fight on behalf of his Black co-captain, who had been jumped by a group of drunken and belligerent Whites, has been hailed a “hero.”
The swimmer turned out to be a 16-year-old high schooler identified by the family only as “Aaren.” Black Twitter has affectionately adorned Aaren the nicknames “Black Aquaman,” “Scuba Gooding Jr., “Michael B. Phelps,” “Shaquille O’Gills”, “Sharkus Garvey” and other creative monikers.While the nation began searching en mass for his real identity, the family of Aaren shut down his social media sites to protect him from further public scrutiny or backlash. They also retained the public relations services of Makina LaShea to articulate their gratitude for the tidal wave of love that has been showered upon the young boy.
“In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years,” LaShea penned on Facebook. “We are immensely proud of his actions and the values he exemplifies, standing as an inspiration to us all.“The overwhelming love and support pouring in from all corners of the state and surrounding areas have deeply touched Aaren,” the statement continued. “Your kindness and encouragement have shown him the power of unity and the warmth of a caring community.”
LaShea included the thoughts of Aaren, who conveyed his gratitude for the outpouring of public support. And money.
“I just want to say thank you to everyone who has been sending me money to help me get new boots,” he said. “I promise I don’t need anymore than I already have. Thank you, everyone, for your support. The only thing I did was what I was taught to do.”
“Sixteen in the clip and one in the hoolllee/ Nate Dogg swimming ‘cross a river to make some bodies turn cooolldddd…” pic.twitter.com/SwLtWNSzk7
— Roy Wood Jr aka Snack Turner (@roywoodjr) August 6, 2023
Aquamayne, Michael B. Phelps, and Scuba Gooding Jr.#riverboatbrawl pic.twitter.com/khdJmIx0E8
— Reel Moments 🎞 (@reelmomentsAI) August 7, 2023
Source: Rolling Out