Harrison Butker Breaks Silence On Commencement Speech Backlash

By Jason Hall

May 25, 2024

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker defended himself after recent comments made at Benedictine College sparked controversy.

Butker appeared at the Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala and defended his recent speech in which he took aim at working women, the LGBTQ+ community and abortion rights during the recent graduation ceremony.

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” said Butker, who is on the board of the Catholic homeschool hybrid school, via Daily Wire. “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 added. “As to be expected, 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 we have truth and charity, we should trust in the Lord’s providence and let the Holy Ghost do the rest of the work," Butker added.

Butker, 28, a three-time Super Bowl champion, quoted a song by Swift -- which Kelce didn't address during his New Heights response -- before taking aim at what he claimed were "diabolical lies told to women," and the LGBTQ+ community -- which Swift has publicly been an outspoken ally for -- claiming Pride Month represented "deadly sins," as well as abortion, in vitro fertilization, surrogacy, President Joe Biden and what he referred to as "the cultural emasculation of men."

"For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment," Butker said. "I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you."

“Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world," he added.

Butker was drafted by the Carolina Panthers at No. 233 overall in the seventh-round of the 2017 NFL Draft, but was waived early in his rookie season and signed by the Chiefs off the Panthers' practice squad on September 26, 2017. The former Georgia Tech standout has emerged as one of the NFL's best kickers, kicking a game-winning field goal during Kansas City's Super Bowl LVII win against the Philadelphia Eagles, setting a career record for field goals in the Super Bowl (9) during his four appearances and making the longest field goal in Super Bowl history during the Chiefs' win against the San Francisco 49ers in February and leading the NFL in scoring during the 2019 regular season.

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