Ohio State defeated Winthrop tonight 65-55 in Columbus, but the most memorable aspect of the game won't be anything that happened on the court, it'll be the remarks of Winthrop head coach Pat Kelsey in his postgame press conference. Kelsey took the opportunity to give his reflection on the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut and plead with the powers that be and anyone who was listening to make a change.
In the wake of the tragedy, there have been emotional tributes and respects paid from all over the sports world from New York to Italy and almost everywhere in between. Kelsey's remarks are some of the most humble and eloquent you will hear regarding the tragedy and the call to action for all moving forward.
Video and the transcript below from 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.”