A Tennessee woman’s video of her son recounting being bullied at middle school has prompted a wave of support from athletes and entertainers.
Kimberly Jones said in a Facebook post she had just picked up her son, Keaton, from school because he was too afraid to go to lunch.
In the video, Keaton said other students call him ugly, make fun of his nose and tell him he has no friends. He said milk was poured on him and ham was put down his clothes.
“Just out of curiosity, why do they bully?” Keaton said. “What’s the point of it? Why do they find joy in taking innocent people and find a way to be mean to them? It’s not OK.
“People that are different don’t need to be criticized about it. It’s not their fault. If you are made fun of, just don’t let it bother you.”
The video had more than 22 million views by early Monday.
“We all know how it feels to want to belong,” Jones said in her post, “but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
Among those offering their support to Keaton Jones through social media were actor Chris Evans, Cleveland Cavaliers stars LeBron James and J.R. Smith and UFC champion Stipe Miocic.
Stay strong, Keaton. Don’t let them make you turn cold. I promise it gets better. While those punks at your school are deciding what kind of people they want to be in this world, how would you and your mom like to come to the Avengers premiere in LA next year? https://t.co/s1QwCQ3toi
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) December 10, 2017
That’s a damn shame. Keaton if your around when we play in Memphis i would love to invite you to one of our games. Head up Champ! https://t.co/Moh9ObdgX8
— JR Smith (@TheRealJRSmith) December 11, 2017
Damn right! Bullies are straight up wack, corny, cowards, chumps, etc, etc! Keaton keep your head up buddy and push forward! You’re the best https://t.co/pqDgay77l9
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 11, 2017
Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker invited the Jones family to an upcoming game, while University of Tennessee wide receiver Tyler Byrd said he and several teammates plan to visit Keaton at school.
Country music star Kelsea Ballerini tweeted that the next time she comes home to her native Knoxville, she wants to be with Keaton to witness the bullies apologize.
buddy next time I make it home to Knox I’m going to walk into that lunchroom with you and watch the bullies say they are sorry to you. you don’t deserve that. keep your head up and continue to be kind…you will always Come out on top. sending a hug. https://t.co/fZn2hbMPKp
— Kelsea Ballerini (@KelseaBallerini) December 10, 2017
Retired race car driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. said on Twitter he wants Keaton to “add me to your long list of friends,” and Snoop Dogg said on Instagram that Keaton “has a friend for life” and that “love is the only way to beat hate.”
A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Dec 10, 2017 at 7:50am PST