‘Diabolical Lies Told To Women’: Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Fumbled Opportunity To Inspire By Condemning Room Full Of Graduates

The Kansas City Chiefs are in the midst of a dynasty, but most people have no clue who Patrick Mahomes’ kicker is.  Even after Harrison Butker made history with a 57-yard field goal during Super Bowl LVIII, nobody knew who he was. 

Now they do, but for all the wrong reasons.

Butker’s controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College received backlash after the athlete’s personal opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, working women, abortion rights and more. 

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College received backlash after the athlete’s personal opinions on the LGBTQ+ community, working women, abortion rights and more. (Photo: Getty/Instagram)

The video has since gone viral and caused a firestorm.

The NFL immediately separated the company from Butker’s comments during his address.

Commenting on Butker’s speech for the first time May 15, the NFL said that his views differ from those of the organization.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, tells PEOPLE in a written statement. “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 speech, Butker addressed what he perceived as various “diabolical lies told to women.” Then he stepped into touchy areas that most people consider off limits in such a diverse setting, offering his take on abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, as well as President Joe Biden. 

Harrison Butker Goes On The Attack

Butker really painted himself into a corner when he said that Pride Month represented “deadly sins.”

Butker also had some strong advice for the men in attendance, advising them to “be unapologetic in your masculinity,” and to “fight against the cultural emasculation of men.”

Whether or not Butker’s beliefs represent that of a large cross-section of the country really doesn’t matter. His speech was met with strong pushback by those who see his message as cowardice and divisiveness.

Former Kansas City Commissioner Justice Horn said in a post: 

“Harrison Butker doesn’t represent Kansas City nor has he ever. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms, and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members.”

Many people were also offended that Butker would quote Taylor Swift, a noted ally of the LGBTQ+ community. He raved about her humility and wished her and Travis Kelce the best. 

“One of the worst parts of this NFL player’s awful speech is that he quoted a Taylor Swift song before telling women they should be homemakers and serve their man’s career,” OutSports said in a post on X. 

Butker’s advice for the female graduates continued to offend. 

“For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” he began. “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.”

He continued, “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.”

“Sounds like some players ‘need to stay in their lanes’ and shouldn’t be giving commencement speeches,” the founding member of Public Enemy and longtime Swift supporter wrote on X.

Butker also condemned the narrative that men aren’t needed in the home as leaders and tone-setters.

These are all volatile topics that not only create division but tend to tear down more than uplift or inspire — and that really shouldn’t be the point of a speech at a graduation. The world is ever-evolving.

Nobody wants to be reminded of how society has failed them and be told that their beliefs or life choices and their ambitions are the product of being brainwashed. 

The school takes an L for not vetting the athlete speaker and his intentions better. The debate, however, will rage about all of the topics he mentioned and Butker won’t be standing alone on an island the next time he broaches these topics. 

Any way you slice it, we may never find common ground on many of these subjects. There’s just a time and a place for everything and clearly, Butker’s timing was off in this instance. It wasn’t his moment; it was the students’ moment. The same people whose life choices he condemned in many ways.

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