The NRL Indigenous All Stars have asked Aussie bully victim Quaden Bayles to lead them out for their match against the Māori All Stars on Saturday.
Quaden's mother, Yarraka, posted a distressing video of her son on social media, where he speaks of wanting to kill himself, after being harassed at school.
Since it was posted online, the video has been viewed nearly 5 million times.
Quaden was born with achondroplasia dwarfism and is an advocate for Stand Tall 4 Dwarfism. He has also undergone several operations for the condition.
The Indigenous All Stars saw the distressing video and posted a message of support to the nine-year-old Indigenous schoolboy, asking him to lead the team out at Gold Coast's Cbus Super Stadium.
"Hey Quaden, how are you going cuz," Latrell Mitchell said, speaking on behalf of the players, in the video.
"We just want to wish you all the best, brother. We know you are going through a hard time now, but the boys are here to support you.
"We've got your back and just want to make sure that you are doing alright, make sure that your mum is on your side, we're on your side.
"Just make sure you are thinking the right things, bud, because we want you around. We want you to lead us out on the weekend.
"Make sure you are looking after yourself and, hopefully, we are going to see you in the next couple of days."
Quaden is reportedly related to South Sydney Rabbitohs flyer James Roberts, who is also taking part in the match.
Channel 9 says indigenous playmaker Cody Walker will bring Quaden and his mum into camp on Friday, before he leads the team out on Saturday night, holding the hand of Joel Thompson.
Māori All Stars player Brad Takairangi said his team would also show Quaden some love.
A host of former players have shown their support, including Johnathan Thurston and Wendell Sailor.
"Stay strong buddy, you are loved!" said Thurston. "To the bullies… THIS IS NOT OK."
Where to find help and support:
- Shine (domestic violence) - 0508 744 633
- Women's Refuge - 0800 733 843 (0800 REFUGE)
- Need to Talk? - Call or text 1737
- What's Up - 0800 WHATS UP (0800 942 8787)
- Lifeline - 0800 543 354 or (09) 5222 999 within Auckland
- Youthline - 0800 376 633, text 234, email firstname.lastname@example.org or online chat
- Samaritans - 0800 726 666
- Depression Helpline - 0800 111 757
- Suicide Crisis Helpline - 0508 828 865 (0508 TAUTOKO)
- Shakti Community Council - 0800 742 584