L.A. Dodgers slugger Kiké Hernandez is one major leaguer whose clever use of social media makes him a professional athlete we can all get behind.
Hernandez recorded and shared a short video paying homage to “The Bend and Snap,” a memorable scene from the movie “Legally Blonde,” at Dodger Stadium. His team, the Dodgers, are a major sponsor of Outsports Pride and will host an event at the stadium on June 8.
The Dodgers second baseman stars in the video, but it’s his willingness to shake his butt that steals the scene. Since Monday, his tribute video has gone viral, with a combined total of more than 1.35 million views on Twitter and Instagram.
Turns out, “The Bend and Snap” is actually Hernandez’ second viral video to feature his backside in a starring role, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. As the Dodgers posted on Instagram: “Works every time!” (Don’t get it? Keep reading, we’ve got your, er, back).
Hernandez’ post on Instagram includes a caption that imagines him responding to Captain America in the movie, “Avengers: End Game.” When the superhero says, proudly, “That is America’s ass,” Hernandez says: “Hold my beer!”
He added his own prideful boast to salute his heritage with the hashtag #PuertoRicosAss. See the video for yourself below or click here.
The Dodgers shared the video on Instagram as well as Twitter, which shows a team not just willing to have some fun, but willing to do so at the benefit of upending gender roles. They aren’t making fun of Hernandez, they are elevating what he’s doing and having fun with him, making it that much easier for others to do the same.
While Hernandez’ moves aren’t “gay,” his embrace of shaking his backside, and his own willingness to publicly share it, does signal his complete comfort with something many people may consider feminine or “gay.” This kind of behavior behind the closed doors of locker rooms is well-documented. Just as like the very public cup check of two Texas Rangers we saw earlier this season, Hernandez’ latest is a not-so-subtle message that the mandate of traditional, straight, macho athletes is fading.
The Dodgers will host their seventh official LGBT Night on May 31, with about 10k LGBTQ fans expected.
In addition to the team’s response, the reaction of both gay and straight fans of all genders, and of various teams, has been encouraging...
May 7, 2019
May 8, 2019
This video just turned me straight pic.twitter.com/eLNVRBoOTf— SarahMac (@sarahmaclol) May 7, 2019
May 8, 2019
I guess I'm a Dodgers fan now wow— Jake Dafoe ️ (@jacob_dafoe) May 7, 2019
As a lifelong @SFGiants fan, I could not in good faith ‘like’ this photo. That said, I considered it MANY times. God Bless.— Joey Keane (@KeaneKong) May 8, 2019
And then there was Craig from Canada, who just didn’t get it.
Not sure I get it??? Is it because he's clumsy with the bat?— Craig S (@CanadianFringe) May 8, 2019
BTW, he should be bending at the knees. That can be hard on your back, not to mention the stitching on the uniform.
A few followers helped out those, like Craig, who were “Clueless.” Wait, no, wrong movie.
@ReeseW #Dodgers #LABleedsBlue pic.twitter.com/Gj2FK6SDqV— Chris Hardy (@LivIICONICBliss) May 7, 2019
In “Legally Blonde,” “The Bend and Snap” is a move Elle Woods (Reese Witherspoon) says her mother taught her in junior high. And it’s a valuable lesson because it’s the only one with an “83-percent return rate on a dinner invitation.” You can read all about it in the HuffPost, or watch this clip from the film.
Showcasing his rear end is not a new thing for Hernandez, whose buttocks previously was top news when he twerked in the locker room when the Dodgers played in the 2017 World Series against the (ultimately victorious) Houston Astros. You can click here to view that video.
A single Instagram video certainly doesn’t end decades of forced machismo in men’s pro sports. Yet Hernandez’ willingness to shake his butt, the team’s willingness to give him a high-five, and the fans’ willingness to play along without resorting to ugliness (for the most part), continues to show us a present and future of sports where every man doesn’t have to behave and be a certain way.
And that’s the bottom line for us.