An Australian boy who was severely bullied at school was on Friday invited to lead the Indigenous All Stars rugby league team onto the field for Sunday's exhibition match.
Quaden Bayles, who has dwarfism, received an outpouring of support worldwide after his mother shared an emotional clip of him on social media.
In the viral video, the nine-year-old Quaden appeared distraught after a bullying incident at his school.
“I’ve just picked my son up from school, witnessed a bullying episode, rang the principal, and I want people to know — parents, educators, teachers — this is the effect that bullying has,” said Yarraka Bayles, the boy’s mother, in a live video posted to Facebook on Tuesday. “This is what bullying does.”
This is the impacts of bullying! I seriously don’t know what else to do! 😭Posted by Yarraka Bayles on Tuesday, February 18, 2020
You can hear the boy sobbing and saying, “Give me a knife, I’m going to kill myself.”
Quaden’s mother said she made the post to show the impact the constant bullying is having on her son and that she will start doing a live video each time he’s bullied, “so that people know, so hopefully, we can make some changes so that this doesn’t happen to another family and hopefully we don’t lose another young, innocent life to bullying.”
There’s been an outpouring of support for Quaden since the video went viral.
During a news conference on the Gold Coast on Friday, his mother told reporters that when Quaden received the invitation From the Indigenous All Stars, it was "the best day of his life."
She also said that she hoped the video would create awareness for her son's condition.
Indigenous Rugby League player Cody Walker, who is taking part in the exhibition match, said his team wanted to lift Quaden’s spirits.