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Jason Kelce clears up the sudden confusion around the pronunciation of his last name

Setting the record straight.

NFL: Philadelphia Eagles at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Somehow, the pronunciation of “Kelce” became a big topic in the Kansas City Chiefs zeitgeist on Wednesday. So much so that our friends over at Arrowhead Pride dedicated a story to the subject matter titled: “Have we been pronouncing ‘Kelce’ wrong for nine years?”

As you can see from that article, there are multiple instances of Travis Kelce talking about how his last name is actually pronounced “Kelss.” That’s obviously different than the “Kel-SEE” we’ve been using for his older brother, Jason, since the Philadelphia Eagles drafted him in 2011.

So, what gives?

Thankfully, Jason was able to join SportsRadio 94WIP with James Seltzer and Jon Ritchie on Thursday morning to set the record straight.

KELCE: “My brother and I have gone by Kel-SEE our entire lives. And I still remember my dad answering the phone as ‘Ed Kelce’ all growing up when he was on work calls and everything. So, our side of the family has always gone by Kel-SEE. But we have a really small family. We don’t have any first cousins. My grandfather on that side was dead before I was born. So, somehow we got so disconnected with that side. And my dad, at some point when he was working in the steel mills in Cleveland, Ohio, got tired of correcting everybody who was calling him Kel-SEE. Apparently, the ‘correct’ pronunciation, the standard pronunciation is Kelss. That’s what the rest of the family goes by. So, my dad, out of pure laziness completely changed his last name. And now, I think we’re at the point where we’re both riding with Ed Kel-SEE. He’s, for some reason, decided to change it and that’s what we’ve gone by our whole lives. So, we’re kind of separate from the rest of the family in that regard. We’ve gotten plenty of messages and texts since becoming NFL players from extended family members all of the world saying: ‘You’re pronouncing the name wrong!’ So, yeah, that’s the story. But we would honestly go by either one, but I prefer Kel-SEE just because that’s the way I’ve said it my entire life and the way our side of the family has said it.

RITCHIE: You prefer Kel-SEE. But you won’t argue with Kelss? Because that’s technically the correct pronunciation by whomever.

KELCE: No. And I probably inherited a little bit of my dad’s laziness with how you pronounce it. I’m probably just like, yeah, whatever, that’s close enough.


So, everyone has been saying it incorrectly if you go by the technical pronunciation. ‘Everyone’ including Jason’s own immediate family. And we’ll all likely continue to do so, unless you want to be different and change to calling him ‘Kelss’ for some reason.

Strange how Jason has been in the league since 2011 and Travis has been in the league since 2013 and we’re only finding out about this in 2021. But now we finally know the truth.

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