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Quaden Bayles, Australian Boy Bullied For Dwarfism, Leads Out Rugby League Team

February 24, 2020

Quaden Bayles, the Australian boy who was bullied at school for dwarfism and received an outpouring of global support after a video of him sobbing went viral, has led out an Indigenous rugby league team.

The nine-year-old Murri boy, who dreams of becoming a professional rugby player, strode on to the pitch with the players for an exhibition match in Queensland between Australia’s Indigenous All Stars, made up of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander players, and the New Zealand Māori, just days after his mother posted a clip of him crying after school.

Fullback Latrell Mitchell, of the South Sydney Rabbitohs, had invited him to lead out the side in a video. “We’ve got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing all right … we want you around, we want you to lead us out on the weekend,” he said.

Bayles held the hand of team captain Joel Thompson as he walked on to the pitch, after receiving support from actor Hugh Jackman, comedian Brad Williams and basketball player Enes Kanter in recent days.

In the video posted by his mother Yarraka Bayles, she said: “This is what bullying does,” while her son sobbed.

“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,” she said.

“Every single … day, something happens. Another episode, another bullying, another taunt, another name-calling. Can you please educate your children, your families, your friends?”

The clip has since been viewed millions of times and led to an outpouring of public sympathy. Jackman told Bayles: “You are stronger than you know,” and urged everyone to be kind.

On Friday, Yarraka Bayles said that Quaden was “going from the worst day of his life to the best day of his life” after he captured the hearts of people around the world.

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