Since it’s release, Pokemon GO has been bringing out the best in some players. Trainers from all over the world have found themselves using the game not only to catch ‘em all but to meet new friends and even start fitness regimes. And, now, Pokemon GO has helped a group of players show support for a fellow trainer who was bullied while playing the game.
15-year-old Ty Swartout was playing Pokemon GO with his mother at Temple Beach Park in Arizona when the pair took a break under a tree. It was there that two young men approached the pair, stomping on a bottle of barbecue sauce to squirt the condiment all over their victims. And, according to Ty's mother, the bullies even used the 'r-word' to slur against the confused teen.
Filled in on the horrible encounter, Ty’s sister wrote a post on Facebook detailing the incident and shared it with a local Pokemon GO page. She wrote, “My mom did everything she could to protect him, by shield him with her body. She came to me almost in tears with BBQ sauce crusted in her hair. No mother should ever have to protect her child in this way. He had every right to play just like anyone else....My poor mother had to wash her and my brother off with a bottle of water. She was humiliated. And for what???”
The post gained traction with players who were appalled by the accident, so the community collectively decided they had to do something for Ty. So, on July 31st, dozens of Pokemon GO players convened at the park to cheer up Ty by playing with him and even gifting him with some sweet Pokemon merch.
Ty’s mother spoke with ABC15 to thank the community for their support, saying, “I’m so grateful. I’m just so grateful because if this wouldn’t have happened, we would still be hiding in our house like a lot of families like ours do. And I just can’t thank everyone enough.”
And, in her social media plea, Ty’s sister has asked players, “If you see something like this happen, please don't stand idly by. Even if you can't do anything about the people that did it, help the family.”
Because, you know, us Pokemon players all have plenty of love to share. When it comes down to it, why would you want to be with Team Rocket rather than Professor Oak? Let’s all do our best to stay safe, lift others up, and show the world what kind of kindness Pokemon GO can breed - no eggs needed!