On Monday night, Australia was occupied by the FIFA Women’s World Cup round of 16 Match between the Matildas and Denmark, which resulted in a two-nil win for our Tillies. However, the rest of the world seemed to be obsessed with a dramatic brawl that broke out in Montgomery, Alabama.
As someone who confesses to being chronically online, I’m quite well-versed in what’s gone viral. Although I was screaming my lungs off, praising Mary Fowler for her beautiful setups on Monday night’s match, I also noticed that a video of a ‘yuge brawl from the US was constantly popping up on my Twitter (or Xer) feed.
One person on Twitter described the brawl as a real-life version of a “WWE Smackdown”.
Since the Alabama clash first hit the internet, many people have made memes and TikToks inspired by the fight — and as an online girly who lives waaay across the pond, I had to research long and hard to understand the whole situation behind thine throwing of thy fists.
Here’s everything I’ve found so far about the Alabama riverfront brawl.
What started the fight?
According to US news outlet CBS News, the fight allegedly began when an employee of a city-operated riverboat attempted to get a pontoon boat moved as it was preventing the riverboat from docking.
After a failed attempt, a white male, who was reportedly one of the passengers of the pontoon boat, shoved the employee. This soon escalated when several other white people began to punch the Black employee.
As the employee attempted to stand up, other people ran to the man to defend him. One person from the riverboat is seen jumping into the water and swimming to the dock to help the employee.
In a separate video, the riverboat is finally docked, and several Black passengers jump off the boat to confront the white people who allegedly jumped the employee.
All hell breaks loose after this point.
There are multiple angles of the brawl that have been posted. There’s one man who was seen hitting a man and a woman with a chair. One woman was thrown into the water. Yep, the fight turned very brutal.
Since the brawl went viral online, folks posted a plethora of angles from different moments of the fight.
The brawl’s impact on the internet
As the brawl continues to circulate online, people have chucked in their two cents on the matter. Many of them are memes and TikToks poking fun at the fight, which is certainly a choice given how quickly the brawl escalated.
Some folks have recreated the chaotic scenes.
The IRL aftermath of the brawl
According to CBS News, Montogomery Police Department said there are four active warrants. However, more arrest warrants have been issued in connection to the brawl.
On Monday, Montogomery’s mayor Steven Reed held a press conference confirming that no arrests were made, per AL.com.
“Justice will be served. This was an unfortunate incident which never should have occurred,” Reed said.
“But as in regards to public safety here in Montgomery, it’s always at the forefront of our mind, and we appreciate everything that the community has done to help us in this situation as they do with incidents each and every day.”
AL.com also reported that the swimmer in the video has been identified as a 16-year-old named Aaren.
“In the face of adversity, Aaren selflessly came to the rescue of a fellow colleague, showcasing courage beyond his years. We are immensely proud of his actions and the values he exemplifies, standing as an inspiration to us all,” Makina Lashea, the family publicist, shared on Facebook.
Why is the internet so obsessed with this brawl?
As reported by the Daily Mail, the memes and commentary surrounding the brawl “took aim at the apparent racial divides in the clash”.
However, in his press conference, Mayor Reed said he “can’t confirm or deny” if the brawl was racially motivated.
“We’re investigating all angles of this, and we’re talking to people who were there as we speak,” Reed said, per AL.com.
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