Turns out the game wasn’t even close.
So strong that the score would have overwhelmed the football scoreboard – Westboro’s 11 protestors vs. several hundred for Jake and the home team.
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“This so much bigger than me,” Bain told NPR’s Jeremy Hobson on Here and Now. “There’s just so many people out there that are going through the same things that I’m going through. So I just hope that a light is kind of shed on the entire community, especially the youth.”
This morning, John Burroughs students and members of the community rallied to defend star football player, Jake Bain, who made headlines in October when he came out as gay. The students and members of the community defended Bain as Westboro Baptist Church picketed the school. pic.twitter.com/dvoSemgIPN
— The Globe (@chsglobe) March 12, 2018
Bain, a senior at John Burroughs School, in the suburban St. Louis community of Ladue, has signed to play football next fall at Indiana State University.
Back in 2015, he was a sophomore sensation at running back, with three touchdowns in the state title game. He started coming out to friends before his junior year, and he came out to family in summer 2016.
As his news of personal journey spread, the national spotlight has bore down on him. Yet he’s shouldered the responsibility as a role model to LGBTQ youth. From high-school football to the school’s Spectrum club to pride night for the St. Louis Blues professional hockey team, Bain has shared his story and encouraged others.
When they heard the news that Westboro was on its way, Bain’s schoolmates at John Burroughs organized their counter protest. That morning, at an assembly before the protest, the school shared heartwarming videos of support from a number of its alumni. (Go to 0:54 on the NPR audio.)
This was the scene outside of John Burroughs this morning, as #Westboro Baptist Church members were there to protest a football player who recently came out https://t.co/KhFyqIKJD5 pic.twitter.com/vqwrqbaJqf
— KMOX St. Louis News (@kmoxnews) March 12, 2018
Bain said the support has inspired him.
“I think I’ve been able to kind of leave a legacy of just the fact that anything’s possible,” he told NPR. “You can build your own path.”
— Katie Kormann (@KatieKormann) March 12, 2018