Players and coaches from the University of Tennessee Volunteers athletics department made a short trip to Maynard Middle School in Union County, TN, to show some love to Keaton Jones. The boy’s video about his experience with bullying recently went viral on social media.
The athletes took a break from their busy schedules to spend time with the boy. Tennessee Volunteers quarterback Jarrett Guarantano posted a photo of himself with Keaton on Twitter. He wrote, “It was unbelievable to get to know him and realize that we have a lot in common. This dude is very special and has changed my life forever. Now I have the little brother I always wanted! God bless you my man.”
On Dec. 9, Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd announced that the team would be heading to the middle school to spend time with the boy. The team wanted to send the message that bullying is not right.
The video’s message also caught the attention of Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker, who posted a video to Twitter showing support for the boy and his mother, Kimberly. Walker read a poem by Buddha, and invited the Jones family to a Titans game. “Hopefully my video and the tweets that Keaton have been getting brings awareness to bullying and how serious it is in our school system,” he wrote.
On Friday last week, Kimberly Jones posted the Facebook video in which Keaton tearfully describes how he is constantly bullied in school. Jones said that her son gave her permission to post the clip online.
Keaton, who was born with a tumor, said that the kids at school teased him about his nose. Bullies tormented him in the cafeteria and told him that he has no friends.
“Why do they bully? What’s the point of it?” Keaton said in the video. “Why do you find joy in taking innocent people and finding a way to be mean to them? It’s not okay.” The video’s message has spread massively through social media. Athletes and celebs are rallying against bullying with the hashtag #StandWithKeaton.