Did You See This? Kelsey on Newtown tragedy

Winthrop coach Pat Kelsey offered some powerful words about the recent tragedy in Newtown, Conn., at the end of his press conference after Tuesday’s 65-55 loss at Ohio State. The Cincinnati native and former Xavier player and assistant talked about how lucky he feels to be able to go home to his two young daughters in the wake of last week’s tragedy but said it’s time for America to do something. Watch Kelsey’s message now.

Here’s the transcript of Kelsey’s presser, courtesy of Cincinnati.com:

“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.”


Your Opinion?
Show Comments (16 Comments)
Sharon on 12/19/2012 @ 9:25am EDT Said:

BRAVO! You are an inspiration.

Diana Nowaskey on 12/19/2012 @ 10:51am EDT Said:

God bless this Coach for saying what many of us are feeling. We have all got to dtep to make sure this NEVER happens again.

Russ Dahlem on 12/19/2012 @ 12:02pm EDT Said:

We need more leaders like Pat Kelsey in our society, with the courage to speak out when we all need to change. Thank you, Pat, for all you do in coaching your young men, as well as being husband and father in your family.

Chuck C on 12/19/2012 @ 12:40pm EDT Said:

Outstanding Coach! You just made those 2 little girls very proud of their Daddy.

Jason on 12/19/2012 @ 2:02pm EDT Said:

Define change. Otherwise, this is just a bunch of rubbish talk. Do we take away and ban guns? Shall we leave all of our personal defense up to the police? Do not just say “we need change.” You are leaving your great country open for tyrrany.

Patrick on 12/19/2012 @ 2:33pm EDT Said:

@Jason: Did you even read his comments? He said everybody needs to step up. That means we need to start talking about it. That means we all need to define change. No one is gonna take away your precious damn guns. We should talk about where and when you can use your precious damn guns. We should talk about whether it’s ok for some nutjob to have guns so they can be used on somebody’s little kids, or wives, or parents, or teachers.

Marilou Krizsa Lee on 12/19/2012 @ 4:16pm EDT Said:


Brett on 12/19/2012 @ 5:34pm EDT Said:

Good for him. I think every parent feels the same way right now. There have to be some reasonable actions that we can take as a society to combat this madness. Doing nothing is not an option and we can’t allow ourselves to be shouted down by the special interests no matter where they come from on the political field. Fear of mass violence, whether in our streets, schools, churches, or theaters is a new kind of tyranny. We simply can’t afford to fail.

Terry Reese on 12/19/2012 @ 6:41pm EDT Said:

Very touching and inspiring words.As a Canadian living 20 miles from the US border I have never understood why assault rifles and military grade handguns can be purchased so easily in the States.I visit the States frequently and have a high regard for its values and way of life but this fascination of owning these type of weapons has to stop before more of these tradgedys happen

Elaine on 12/19/2012 @ 11:27pm EDT Said:

Waht powerful words! Thank you for stepping up and using the microphone to spur our country on to take ACTION. There are several areas that need attention and can help: Some forms of gun control, lots of mental health approaches, Violence in film and games, reviewing and renewing life values, etc. Not one is the complete answer, but each area can contribute to turning our country back on the right path. NO MORE burying our children! Thank you Coach for your powerful message!

C.D. on 12/19/2012 @ 11:28pm EDT Said:

I aprreciate the sentiments and concern from the coach and agree with him. However where has the outrage about guns been concerning Chicago?

“Through Dec. 9, there were 487 murders in Chicago, according to the police department website. About a quarter of murder victims were under the age of 18 and virtually all those deaths were from guns, according to the RainbowPUSH Coalition, a Chicago-based advocacy group founded by the Reverend Jesse Jackson.”


All these people are screaming gun control now, why haven’t they been consistent? The violence is in the President’s own state and Illinois has very strict gun control laws, how come it isn’t working?

Richard Bell on 12/19/2012 @ 11:41pm EDT Said:

Richard Bell Coach Kelsey was nearly poetic in the way that he stated his feelings about that day. It took me all weekend to be able to deal in a less emotional way with the act of a 24 year against 20 children. I have 3 grown which none of the 20 will be and my heart aches for the parents. I have never been a gun owner.Ido not have a desire to take guns from anyone, but control is another story. We had a Gun Law in this country that worked and was allowed to lapse under Bush. Perhaps a return is in order. by the way, Jason, you of the very angry “no one is gonna take away my Guns attitude” you spelled Tyranny Wrong. Which is a clue to your intellect.

Dave Weselak on 12/21/2012 @ 2:09pm EDT Said:

It is a fact that there are an incredible number of mentally unbalanced people that are walking the streets right now.
It is scary to think of the real probability that there are thousands of them that own guns, worse, guns designed for assault purposes with clips that far exceed the amount of ammo needed for recreational hunting.
Add to this the stereotypical image of an unbalanced loner sitting at home playing video games which glorify killing people with little consequence. (Get killed, restart the game)
It is scarier still to think of their reaction to somebody approaching them to limit their right to bear these arms.
Worse yet, what is the percentage of those that gravitate to be active members of the NRA.
What is the percentage of them that believe THEY have a problem?
Who believes the worst of these senseless acts are over?
Like coach Kelsey, I don’t have the answer but the discussion must continue or God help us all.

Shaniqwa on 12/22/2012 @ 10:29am EDT Said:

Very moving and definitely true. Your words expressed what many others are feeling. Thank you.

Mary Lou Gross on 12/24/2012 @ 4:52pm EDT Said:

I say AMEN to Pat, so very touching. My heart goes out to all the prants, grandparents, brothers and sisters. I also relaize that is not enough, but know other people care.
Everyone has an opintion. Mine is put prayer back in schools, allow parents to discilpli en (not abuse). These are things teaching respect. I am a grandmother, my children was taught to respect people, flags, prayer also compassion. They was taught to listen to elders neighbors. They was also told to beware of false information. I could be wrong but it won’t be a first. Thought and prayers to all

OLDSOLDIER1941 on 12/27/2012 @ 9:51am EDT Said:

What is really senseless is the 50,000 people who are killed every year on our highways. I think we should ban cars and trains and airplanes and boats and ships. We should make it illegal to operate any of these modes of transport if you are impaired in any way. Wait a minute, there are laws that make that (impairment) illegal already. I wonder why they do not stop the mayhem on the highways. Someone needs to teach the left wingers and the liberal media what the word assault means. An inanimate object cannot assault anything. A person has to ASSAULT someone or something. You can verbally assault someone. Touching someone while you are verbally Assaulting them becomes ASSAULT AND BATTERY.
It has been proven in several countries and cultures that making the ownership of guns illegal only increases the chances of something like Newton to occur because the perps know they will not be challenged.
I would agree that something must be done to reduce the possibility of something like this from happening again. Gun free zones is not the answer as this has proven completely ineffective. Removing or confiscating guns from law abiding citizens will only make the situation worse as the perps will find some way to obtain what they want. Parental involvement and teaching children right and wrong is a start. Putting God and religion back in schools would be a step in the right direction.
Our founders developed the Constitution and the Bill of Rights because they wanted a free society void of tyranny and the order of the first ten amendments are in the order they thought was appropriate to insure this country would remain free. It is a constitutional Republic founded on Christian principles.
The first amendment gives us the right of freedom of speech, a free press, freedom OF religion and the right of assembly. The second amendment protects those rights.