Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and ArgoTristan Black proclaim the week of Nov 12-18 to be Anti-Bullying Week at City Hall in Toronto November 9, 2012.
Credits: Dave Abel / Toronto SUN
TORONTO — Mayor Rob Ford says he's been bullied in the past.
At the Bullying Awareness Week kickoff at City Hall Monday, Ford admitted he's been picked on for his weight.
"When you're overweight like I've been my whole life, (you get) made fun of, and it's not good growing up," Ford told a press conference.
"There are many different types of bullying, but being called fat, all that stuff, it bothers you but you have to deal with it."
The mayor said he addresses bullying on the high school football team he coaches.
"We won't tolerate that," he said.
As for any advice to children being bullied, Ford was blunt.
"Report it," Ford said. "Definitely make sure that people — the authorities, the principals, if it is outside (school) that police — are aware who is doing the bullying. You have to stand up to bullies. And if you keep it inside, it could, you know, I think, mentally harm you.
"Make sure people know and point out the bullies."
Asked if attending events during Toronto's Pride week would have sent a message to gay and lesbian teens who are bullied, Ford shrugged.
"Like I said, bullying comes in many forms and if gay people are being bullied, I think that is terrible," he said.
Ford has refused to attend any Pride events since becoming mayor in 2010.
Toronto Argonauts linebacker Tristan Black joined Ford at the Bullying Awareness Week launch.
Black is part of the Argos' Huddle Up Bullying Prevention Program. He travels to Toronto-area schools and stresses the need to talk to resolve bullying.
He uses the acronym TALK to sum up the need to "think and live kindly."
Black said he tells students to "speak up" and "don't be afraid to speak up."
"There is a lot more people that are on your side than aren't on your side," he said.
Ford — a big Argos fan — congratulated Black on the team's playoff win Sunday against the Edmonton Eskimos.
"I feel sorry for the Montreal Alouettes," he said.