MPS Athletics Commissioner Attends Final Four After Canceling Sports

Milwaukee Public Schools Athletics Commissioner Bobbie Kelsey was in San Antonio for Sunday night's NCAA Women's National Championship Game after previously canceling MPS' fall and winter sports seasons because of COVID-19 concerns.

Kelsey posted several tweets from her seat during Sunday night's basketball championship game between Stanford (where Kelsey attended) and Arizona.

In August, Kelsey postponed all MPS fall sports, saying "we're not going to put people in harm's way just to play."

"We understand the disappointment and frustration with the delay in the start of athletics," she added in a statement. "But we must always make responsible decisions when it comes to the health of our athletes and fans."

Three months later, Kelsey canceled MPS' winter sports season as well.

"Please know this was an extremely difficult decision made with safety as our guiding principle," she wrote to MPS parents.

Last week, MPS announced that athletics would return for the spring season. Students have been attending virtual classes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with a return to the classroom for some students on April 14. Most students will return to in-person learning by the end of the month.

Kelsey's trip to Texas has raised questions of hypocrisy among parents, who question why she traveled to another state to watch her alma mater play basketball after refusing to allow students to play basketball, or any other sport for that matter.

Her tweets also show violations of the Milwaukee Health Department's COVID-19 guidelines, which include "staying home with your family," "not meet[ing] in groups of any size," and "keeping 6 feet or more away from others in public spaces."

MPS has not yet responded to a request for comment on Kelsey's trip.

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in June, Kelsey made it clear that the COVID-19 pandemic would likely make high school sports too dangerous for MPS students and that she would have to cancel them.

"You don’t want to tell people straight no because mental and physical well-being is important, too, but we know this COVID affects people differently," she said. "Some people have a sniffle. Other people, unfortunately, pass away. We’re not going to put people in harm’s way just to play."