On the evening of Sunday, January 20, Twitter experienced a minor outrage when Jesse Kelly, a conservative radio host from Houston, began tweeting about his displeasure at having to attend a Lego robotics tournament his son was participating in:
I’m at a Lego robotics tournament for my oldest and you’ve never seen this many depressed fathers in one place. We’re all thinking, “Other kids play football...”— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
They qualified for the next tournament. pic.twitter.com/hS4rcrfMvr— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
Twitter immediately went after Kelly for bashing on his own son’s success and promise.
Your son is going to be very successful— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) January 20, 2019
are you seriously on twitter mocking your own kid’s achievements?— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) January 20, 2019
Many notable comedians and Twitter personalities dragged Kelly through the mud.
I, too, hate the idea of my children one day having valuable career skills— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) January 20, 2019
Imagine actually encouraging and being proud of your son for competing at something he loves? Crazy right?— Leon Lush 🍅 (@LeonLush) January 21, 2019
"Dad, you really don't have to come to my competition today"— lmb21 (@lmb6453) January 20, 2019
Meanwhile, the conservative father continued to tweet about his own “unhappiness.”
Oh goody. They’re setting up a stage for an awards ceremony. pic.twitter.com/j4THqmlHwg— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
One team is named “The Shockers” and I have no idea how everyone thought that was a good idea.— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
He actually got a trophy. Told him I’m putting it in my room since he got his brains from me. Nbd.— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
They just announced the champion and this place is rocking like it’s the Super Bowl. I don’t belong here.— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 19, 2019
It seemed as if Kelly didn’t realize how lucky he was!
Sooooo...meanwhile I’ve been trying to make my son realize how exciting THE SPELLING BEE is! (Also I confess I am jealous that @PreetBharara ‘s son is a Rubik’s Cube champ.)— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) January 20, 2019
I would be *over the moon* if my son was competing in Lego robotics tournament. 😕 https://t.co/5YlNvAPBek
the world is full of people who succeed in life despite having a shitty father— Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) January 20, 2019
My daughter competed in that level of robotics in 8th grade, and my son is lead engineer of his FIRST robotics team for the third year now. Why on Earth would you not honor their achievement and how much your son and his team have learned and grown?!?— ⛄Carina Hilbert✌️ (@CarinaHilbert) January 20, 2019
Many were grateful that, whatever their faults, they could rest easy knowing they weren’t Kelly.
I’m going to print out these tweets and hang it on the wall so that whenever I feel like I’m not a good enough dad to my kids, I’ll see what a real horrible father looks like and take solace that I’ll never be as big an asshole to my kids as @JesseKellyDC. https://t.co/TwUEHtXLpH— Cav (@CombatCavScout) January 20, 2019
Around that time, Kelly began retweeting his own haters, suggesting the entire thread was a massive troll job.
Doctor, what would you prescribe for someone who lacks a sense of humor? https://t.co/1D7fdArIAV— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 20, 2019
One might ask “what’s so funny about pretending to mock your child to a bunch of strangers who can’t tell the difference?” Well, to Kelly that’s all part of the hilarious joke.
Man it’s so EPIC that you care more about your image than being proud of your son. SUPER COOL that you tweeted this to your 100,000 followers also! EPIC TWEET man!— Pokémon Facts! (@pokmon_facts) January 21, 2019
Apparently @JesseKellyDC is retweeting everyone dunking on him over this not because of his obvious brain worms, but because this hacky meathead dad shit is apparently his "comedy."— Rani Something Baker, That Horrible Bitch (@destroyed4com4t) January 20, 2019
Looking forward to his "take my wife, please!" routine. What a dildo.https://t.co/VFwq62iQPm
Others, however, were just impressed Kelly was able to fool so many people.
Jesse wins. Lmao I get not thinking it’s funny, but holy troll job. Welcome to his world. 😂— J.R. Holmsted (@JHolmsted) January 21, 2019
Oh and here's my response, Michelle:— Jesse Kelly (@JesseKellyDC) January 21, 2019
"I remain devastated about my son's decision to use his mind instead of doing the American thing and tackling people on the football field. I only pray he can at least be a success at that. Otherwise, he might end up at Buzzfeed." https://t.co/vREBLv14gs
At the end of the day, however, many Twitter users were feeling a lot of sympathy for Kelly’s son.
I don't know if that lego robotics thread is a real story or a troll attempt, but god that kid sure has tough days ahead with a dad like Jesse.— NeoLux (@bakamoshi) January 20, 2019
You are a stunningly awful person.— FILM CRIT HULK (@FilmCritHULK) January 20, 2019