This father-son hockey hug is going viral, and it's a great example of male affection.

Hockey player Bobby Butler never thought he'd have a shot at making the U.S. Olympic team.

Typically, those coveted spots are reserved for America's top NHL stars. But a surprising announcement from the league — this year, they've decided not to allow rostered players to compete in the Olympics — has opened the door to lesser-known players like Butler.

Butler during his time in the NHL with the Nashville Predators. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


The 30-year-old Butler was, at one point, a journeyman NHL player, bouncing from team to team due to cuts and trades. Today, he plays for Milwaukee Admirals of the AHL (American Hockey League — sort of like the NHL's minor leagues). Butler represented America in the 2013 World Championship, where the U.S. team took bronze, but the Olympic team would be, without a doubt, the biggest stage of his career.

While the lack of NHL star-power meant more opportunity for greener players, competition was fierce: Team officials searched high and low for talent to join the squad — the college ranks, Americans in foreign hockey leagues, and players from the AHL — before putting their recruits through an intense trial period.

Butler made the cut. And while he was overjoyed, there was one person in his life he hoped would understand his intense flurry of emotions: his dad.

Team cameras were filming practice when Butler's dad stopped by, and the newest member of the U.S. men's hockey team got to give his old man some good news.

Butler's dad swelled with pride and wrapped his son in a bear hug as teammates cheer. The heartwarming video gives major feels:

Dads have a reputation for often being stingy with displays of physical affection. But that might all be changing.

That's not to say that fathers don't love their kids! They do. But it's been suggested that, generally, men prefer to show affection (particularly to other men and their sons) by bonding over shared activities or doing something nice. Hugs, kisses, and "I love you's" can be few and far between.

That kind of bonding has its place, but studies show that kids really benefit from a lot of warmth and physical affection from their parents. The good news is that some research suggests many men today might just be up to the task, and are driven to provide "better quality of fathering than they had experienced."

In any case, the viral response to Butler's embrace with his father shows that maybe we are ready for a world where a father can kiss his son, hold him when he's sad, and embrace him in moments of joy.

Even in the rough-and-tumble world of professional hockey.

Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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via Better to Be Different / Facebook

Natalie Fernando, 44, was walking down the seafront at Southend-on-Sea in Essex, England with her five-year-old son Rudy when he refused to turn around after she asked him. Rudy has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and it's common for people with it to have difficulty being redirected, especially if they are enjoying an activity.

"My son loves to walk, but he hates to turn around and walk back, we usually try to walk in a circuit to avoid this but on his favourite walk with the boats we have no choice but to turn back," Natalie wrote on her blog's Facebook page, "Better to Be Different."

This caused Rudy to lay down on the ground and throw a tantrum. Natalie apologized to passersby for his loud noises, but she still received judgemental stares.

It's common for Rudy's tantrums to last for an hour or more and he can become very aggressive.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less