TOLEDO, Ohio– A Toledo youth football team is remembering one of its own after a player took his life.
Eleven-year-old Taquairius McDonald committed suicide on Monday, just days before he was set to start seventh grade at Whittier Elementary School in Toledo.
Friends told WTOL that the boy had a recent run-in with two other children.
“Just always messing with him,” said Taquairius’ friend. “He would be at the park playing, and they would punch up on him.”
The Whittier Jets football team is selling shirts in the boy’s memory to help his family for funeral expenses.
“Let’s make a statement; let’s make him a hero. And let’s make him and his legacy like I like to call it, an advocate for this anti-bullying,” said Brandon Copeland, founder of I Stopped the Bully.
Wednesday night, hundreds gathered to remember Taquairius during a candlelight vigil.
“Thank you so much for the outpouring of love we felt at the field today,” the football team posted on Facebook.