A boy in Knoxville, Tennessee, has become an Internet star after an impassioned video about the bullies he faces in middle school. The boy has found a growing number of supporters including among members of the Tennessee Volunteers and the Titans.
Keaton Jones has become celebrated for ringing the alarm bells about school bullying after his mother, Kimberly, posted a video she filmed after picking Keaton up early from school because he was afraid to go to lunch. The boy said a bunch of classmates had been bullying him by calling him names, pouring milk over his head, and throwing food at him. Keaton’s impassioned video has now gone viral.
Along with her December 8 Facebook post, Kimberly wrote, “For the record, Keaton asked to do this AFTER he had he me pick him up AGAIN because he was afraid to go to lunch.
“My kids are by no stretch perfect, & at home, he’s as all boy as they come, but by all accounts he’s good at school,” Keaton added. “Talk to your kids. I’ve even had friends of mine tell me they’re kids were only nice to him to get him to mess with people. We all know how it feels to want to belong, but only a select few know how it really feels not to belong anywhere.”
It wasn’t long before young Keaton’s video went viral and came to the attention of some members of the Tennessee Volunteers, according to SBNation.
One of the first to react was the Volunteers’ Jarrett Guarantano who jumped to Twitter to say that he was trying to find the boy and his mother.
Please let his mother know that we are trying to reach out. Keaton has some friends on the football team that would love to spend some time with him. https://t.co/tj1ZqDM4KD
— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 9, 2017
In short order that meeting took place:
So I got the chance to spend the day with my new best bud Keaton. 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 pic.twitter.com/vMHVtnf2rC
— Jarrett Guarantano✞ (@BroadwayJay2) December 11, 2017
The Vols’ Tyler Byrd also jumped to Twitter to announce that he and others are set to meet with Keaton and his mother.
We going to the middle school next Tuesday show young Man some love we will also TWITTER LIVE some of it so everyone can show there love and support #vols #StopBullying @cboystunna3 @BroadwayJay2 @JKShuttlesworth @smithtrey98
— Tyler Byrd (@D1fuzzymuffin17) December 9, 2017
Not to be outdone, the city’s NFL franchise also jumped to Twitter to comment on the boy’s video. The Tennessee Titans Tweeted out the hashtag #StandWithKeaton-.
Excellent work, Jarrett. #StandWithKeaton
— Tennessee Titans (@Titans) December 11, 2017
Titans star Delanie Walker also came to Keaton’s support.
— Delanie walker (@delaniewalker82) December 9, 2017
Offensive tackle Taylor Lewan joined in saying he wants to meet Keaton.
Please help me and the @Titans get Keaton’s information. We will not tolerate bullying. I’ll be seeing you real soon Keaton.
— Taylor Lewan (@TaylorLewan77) December 10, 2017
As Keaton’s story spread, a more people in the sports world came to his defense:
Nah man not cool. Not cool at all. Stuff like this breaks my heart. Those kids and their parents need to be held accountable. Stay strong Keaton! They make fun of you because they are insecure about themselves. You’re perfect because you were made in Gods image. https://t.co/uaj7J7OAv9
— Damon Harrison Sr. (@snacks) December 10, 2017
Update: I’ve got in touch with his sister and I’ll be talking to my man Keaton real soon to show my support for him on behalf of Bama nation…. we don’t condone bullying by any means and he needs to know we have his back! #RollTide #TideAgainstBullying https://t.co/dAf8Tv5Nc5
— Alphonse Taylor (@SHANKK50) December 10, 2017
Hey, Keaton Jones, do you like baseball? Can you let me know? I cover an an amazingly awesome team that you must see, in an amazingly awesome stadium. @Lakyn_Jones, please let me know. Keaton, you are an awesome boy & I have your back! Stay strong, buddy! https://t.co/zamE6UUi5Y
— Alanna Rizzo (@alannarizzo) December 10, 2017
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.