A councilman, NBA superstar and many others online are praising the actions of a man who stepped in to break up a fight between two teens in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
A video, which was posted late Monday afternoon, shows two teens fighting on the corner of McKinley and Indiana avenues in Atlantic City as onlookers cheer and laugh. One of the boys involved in the fight, 15-year-old Jamar Mobley, told NBC10 the fight was over a girl.
"I don't know what happened," Mobley said. "I'm a straight-A student. I don't know how I ended up fighting this man."
As Mobley and the other teen fought, 27-year-old Ibn Ali suddenly walked over and stepped in between the two teens.
“Everybody with your phones out? All ya’ll? Ya’ll the real cowards! Record that too,” Ali said.
Ali then spoke to the teens and the crowd for nearly four minutes, urging the boys to stop fighting and criticizing the crowd for encouraging the scuffle.
“You think it’s a game out here?” Ali asked. “Ain’t no game out here.”
Ali made it clear to the teens that the crowd was laughing at them, not with them, and that their parents would be ashamed.
"The one thing he said that got through to me was that, he explained that all my friends, who I thought were my friends, all of them just wanted to see a fight," Mobley said.
Ali ended his speech by telling the teens to shake hands and make peace, saying he would not leave until they did so. The video ends with Mobley shaking the other teen's hand. Now Mobley wants to meet Ali so he could formally thank him.
"I want to say thank you for everything," Mobley said. "You made me think about a lot."
Ali's friend Ramal Ford told NBC10 he's not surprised at all by the video.
“What he did was pretty indicative of what I’ve come to know from him as a person,” Ford said. “I applaud him. He understood how to deescalate the situation and sometimes it’s just the right words.”
Since it was posted on Facebook the video has received 20 million views and more than 568,000 shares. One of those views came from Atlantic City Councilman Marty Small.
“You’re now talking about a video that was seen by over 12 million people in less than 24 hours and it’s a positive video,” Small said. “Normally videos that go viral are very negative. Very harmful to people. He stepped up and was a real man about the situation and he made Atlantic City look great.”
"That was crazy," Mobley said. "It happened like overnight! When I saw LeBron James I'm like, 'That's crazy!' People die just to use his shoes and he retweeted something I posted? That's crazy!"
Ford told NBC10 the video is something that residents of Atlantic City needed to see.
"This was timely," Ford said. "Last month, even more than a month it's been a lot of deaths in the same area."
Ali, a father of five who played high school football in Atlantic City and is currently taking college courses, was honored by Atlantic City council Wednesday night for his actions. Mobley and the other teen were honored as well. Ali fought back tears while thanking his own mother for raising him to be the man he is today.
"When I was young I grew up in the projects," Ali said. "When I would get on punishment she would make me read books. I'm crying because this whole situation deeply saddens me. The fact that it's unbelievable. This should be very believable. This should be a norm and it should be regular."
Ali also praised the parents of Mobley and the other teen.
"I want to thank the people who raised these young men as well," Ali said. "Because they raised them to be young men of reason which seems to be a very, very rare trait in today's youth."