Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Sends Strong Message on Graduation Speech

Harrison Butker

Getty Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Arrowhead Stadium on January 29, 2023.

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker broke his silence on the divisive reaction to his commencement address at Benedictine College two weeks ago.

Speaking at the Regina Caeli Academy’s “Courage Under Fire Gala” in Nashville on May 24, Butker stood by every word. “In my seven years in the NFL, I’ve become familiar with positive and negative comments. But the majority of them revolve around my performance on the field,” he told the crowd at the Catholic charity.

“The more I’ve talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become. It’s a decision I’ve consciously made, and one I do not regret at all.”

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” he continued. “Over the past few days my beliefs, or what people think I believe, have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe. At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

Butker urged women to embrace their true vocation as a “homemaker” during his graduation speech. He also denounced abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, Jews, Pride Month, President Joe Biden, and pro-choice Catholics.

Harrison Butker Is ‘Humbled’ By All the Support He Received

Harrison Butker

GettyChiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024.

Speaking in Nashville, Butker made it clear he’s not listening to the naysayers. “Our love for Jesus, and thus, our desire to speak out, should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world,” the 28-year-old said.

“I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it is not people, but Jesus Christ who I’m trying to please.

“I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from all walks of life, but I can’t help but tremble at the thought of the courage many saints have shown in their lives.”

Butker’s latest speech drew strong support from conservatives. Republican Tennessee senator Marsha Blackburn posted, “.@buttkicker7 stands strong with his belief and doesn’t not cower to the woke mob.”

Over 220,000 people signed a petition for Butker’s release following his graduation speech. However, he received full support from the Chiefs co-owner Clark Hunt’s wife and daughter, Tavia and Gracie Hunt.

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid backed Butker. “I don’t think he was speaking ill toward women, he has his opinions. We all respect that. I let you guys in this room and you have a lot of opinions that I don’t like,” Reid said.

Chiefs News: Harrison Butker’s Teammates Offered Support While Distancing Themselves From His Message

Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes

GettyChiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (L) and tight end Travis Kelce on January 07, 2024.

Numerous celebrities slammed Butker’s graduation speech at the small Catholic college. The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica denounced Butker’s speech in a statement, particularly the “homemaker” claim.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes supported Butker while also saying there were “certain things” he disagreed with in his speech. Tight end Travis Kelce addressed the situation on his “New Heights” podcast alongside his brother, Jason Kelce.

Travis called Butker “every bit of a great person and a great teammate,” and spoke highly of his character. “I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids and I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life. That’s just not who I am,” Travis said.

Jason, who shares three daughters with his wife, Kylie Kelce, didn’t understand what the “big fuss” was about, but at the same time he did. “Certain of these groups have been persecuted against for a long period in this country,” Jason said.

“I’ve had so many people ask me, ‘What would you do if your daughters had to sit there and listen to somebody tell them after they just earned a degree that they should just go to align to be homemakers?'”

“And I would say if my daughters listen to anybody tell them what to do — that they should be homemakers — then I failed as a dad.”

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