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NFL Responds to Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Graduation Speech

NFL Responds to Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Graduation Speech

The NFL has responded to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker‘s controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College, in which he condemned abortion, euthanasia, IVF, surrogacy and the LGBTQ community. He also denounced the “diabolical lies told to women,” suggesting that enforcing traditional gender roles is the better route.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer said in a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

During his 20-minute speech, Butker said to graduating women, “How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? 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 your children.”

The athlete continued, “I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.” He added that Isabelle embraced “one of the most important titles of all” as homemaker and claimed his spouse “would laugh out loud without hesitation and say ‘heck no’” if asked if she regretted not pursuing a career of her own.

Butker later urged the graduating men to “be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men.”

The NFL player also referenced a Taylor Swift with a lyric from “Bejeweled” while commenting on why bishops shouldn’t “become overly familiar” with parishioners: “As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’”

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His comments have since gone viral, with many people online condemning his remarks. LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD was among those to respond to Butker’s claims. “Traditionally, commencement speeches are meant to celebrate and inspire graduates and their families,” wrote GLAAD’s president Sarah Kate Ellis.

Ellis continued, “Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was not only a clear miss, it was inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people and women.”

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