On Tuesday Yarraka Bayles uploaded a video of her 9-year-old son Quaden Bayles to Facebook. In it Quaden sobs in response to relentless bullying he has suffered at his school in Queensland, Australia.
The video includes Quaden, who has dwarfism, repeatedly saying he wants to end his life. Quaden’s mother can be heard saying, “This is what bullying does. So can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”
The video has since gone viral with tens of millions of plays. In reaction to the video a Gofundme campaign was started to fund a Disneyland trip for the Bayles family. The campaign raised over $250,000 in a single day.
The video has also lead to thousands of messages of support online. Some of those messages have come from celebrities and sporting figures. Australian Movie star Hugh Jackman was one of those who sent a message to Quaden.
“Quaden, you are stronger than you know, mate,” said Jackman. “No matter what, you’ve got a friend in me.”
Enes Kanter of the Boston Celtics also sent a message to Quaden, an avid sports fan, inviting him to watch an NBA game.
Quaden has also received support from the Indigenous All-Stars rugby team. The team invited Quaden, who is Murri, to lead them onto the field in their upcoming game versus the Maori All Stars.
Another sporting figure who has publicly supported Quaden is Chatri Sityodtong, founder and CEO of ONE Championship. In a video he posted to twitter Sityodtong said “I know you’re going through incredible suffering and pain. But I want you to know that God gives the toughest battles to his bravest and strongest soldiers and for sure you are one of them.”
According to the NY Daily News Sityodtong also invited Quaden to attend a child martial arts training school in Singapore, with all expenses covered. Quaden’s mother reportedly accepted the offer.
This is not the first time a member of the MMA community has offered classes to someone who has publicly suffered from bullying. In 2019 Bellator MMA’s Dillon Danis provided BJJ lessons to a 12-year-old in Florida who was assaulted by several classmates inside a school locker room. Also in 2019 Justin Wren, also of Bellator, came to the defense of an autistic 12-year-old in Oklahoma who was being targeted by bullies (per The Guardian).