Following the Winthrop Eagles 65-55 loss in Columbus to the Ohio State Buckeyes, Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey took advantage of the platform he had during the post-game press conference to give some of the most thoughtful words on last week’s tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
Kelsey delivered a powerful message on how lucky he was to be able to travel home and hold his daughters and he also said it’s time for America to make a change.
It was very sincere and came from the heart. Kelsey’s comments are ones that everyone should digest. Here is a video of Kelsey’s post-game remarks followed by a transcript, courtesy of the Big Ten Network:
“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.”