The Winthrop basketball team went on the road last night and gave seventh ranked Ohio State all they wanted before losing 65-55. But that’s not the story here. The real story is what first year Eagles coach Pat Kelsey said after the game. Kelsey used his platform to speak out on the recent tragedies that have rocked our country. It was passionate and eloquent and poignant and like nothing else you’ve ever heard from a basketball coach after a 10 point loss.
Kudos to Kelsey for speaking from the heart and ignoring the simpleton “stick to sports” folks that don’t like it when public figures use their status to start a conversation about ways we can all be and do better.
Please watch it below:
Cincinnati.com also transcribed his comments:
“The last thing I wanna say is I’m really, really lucky, ’cause I’m gonna get on an eight-hour bus ride, and I’m gonna arrive in Rock Hill, S.C., and I’m gonna walk into my house, and I’m gonna walk upstairs, and I’m gonna walk into two pink rooms, OK, with a 5-year-old and a 4-year-old laying in that pink room, with a bunch of teddy bears laying in that room.
“And I’m gonna give them the biggest hug and the biggest kiss I’ve ever given them. And there’s 20 families in Newtown, Conn., that are walking into a pink room with a bunch of teddy bears with nobody laying in those beds. And it’s tragic.
“And I don’t know what needs to be done. I’m not smart enough to know what needs to be done, OK? I know this country’s got issues. Is it a gun issue? Is it a mental illness issue? Or is it a society that has lost the fact, the understanding, that decent human values are important?
“And our leaders – I didn’t vote for President Obama. But you know what? He’s my president now. He’s my leader. I need him to step up. Mr. Boehner, the Speaker of the House, he’s a Xavier guy, he’s a Cincinnati guy, OK, he needs to step up.
“Parents, teachers, rabbis, priests, coaches, everybody needs to step up. This has to be a time for change. And I know this microphone’s powerful right now, because we’re playing the fourth-best team in the country. I’m not going to have a microphone like this the rest of the year, maybe the rest of my life.
“And I’m going to be an agent of change with the 13 young men I get to coach every day and the two little girls that I get to raise. But hopefully things start changing, because it’s really, really disappointing.
“I’m proud to grow up American. I’m proud to say I’m part of the greatest country ever. And that’s got to stay that way. And it’ll stay that way if we change. But we gotta change.”