Words cannot express how deeply saddened I am reading the media coverage of the recent death of Bailey O’Neill, a 12 year old victim of bullying. It is disheartening to read stories of children bullying other children. I took pride in knowing that my status as a professional athlete gave me a national platform to raise awareness to the impact bullying has on the lives of vulnerable youth. I thought that I was making a difference by advocating, Tweeting and lecturing every now and then about an Anti-Bullying Campaign. However, as I learn about Bailey’s life and how he died, the more I know that I must be more committed to eradicating bullying.
My thoughts and prayers are with the O’Neill family, friends and loved ones. May God grant them the strength and courage to get through these most difficult times. My prayers are also with the youth and their families who have been accused of bullying Bailey to the point that it resulted in his death. May God have mercy on their souls. – DeSean Jackson