When Utah mom Amber Wright posted a video of herself sharing a celebratory embrace with her son, Brixton, after a football game, she never expected it would go viral.
“One of my best friends recorded the moment where Brix picked me up and I thought it was so cute," Wright, 38, tells TODAY.com.
Wright, a single parent, uploaded the clip to her Instagram later that night on Aug. 18. At the time, Wright had 1,500 followers. She now has more than 19,000 tuning in for life updates.
In the clip, which has been seen more than 9 million times, Wright is shown with her legs wrapped around 16-year-old Brixton moments after his football team won a home game.
“I was so proud,” she says. “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 adds.
"I wonder how many of his friends are allowed to stay over. My son wouldn’t be allowed for sleepovers at their house," one person wrote in the comments.
Added another, "I don’t think anyone has an issue with your son picking you up, just the (fact) that it appears your straddling your son. You’re also dressed pretty sexy for a high school football game."
Other responses included, "Ewww," "What, I thought this was his girlfriend‼️" and "THATS HIS MOTHERRRR?"
Wright tells TODAY.com that the backlash has been upsetting for both her and Brixton.
"How abt you leave my mom alone," Brixton wrote on Instagram. "She’s never abused me done anything sexual with me or my friends or groomed me. She’s my mom she is my hero the vid of us hugging was a HUG. Go bother someone else and maybe hug your own kids. You all need Jesus damn."
“I come from a very affectionate family. I hug my dad every time I see him,” Wright says. “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 notes that Brixton might have held onto her a “little longer” after the game, as it was his first time wearing a jersey with his late dad’s death date. Brixton's father died on April 4.
“He was feeling emotional, and I think as his mom, I’m his safe space,” she explains.
Wright says she has received many private messages that are "supportive" and "kind." People are also sticking up for Wright on her Instagram.
"I’m a single mom of a boy. After going through breast cancer, I believe my son would do this to me too at a football game bc we are very close. My son and I are like best friends. Happy to see a strong mom and son connection!" one person wrote.
Added another, "I am a single mom and my son is an athlete who played football won state championship and now will be playing college football.. I see a mom a beautiful mom who loves her son and he is her everything!"