Tuesday, May 28, 2024

NFL responds after Harrison Butker’s controversial graduation speech goes viral

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Four days after Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered a controversial graduation speech, the NFL is speaking out about his comments.

Butker spoke to the 2024 graduates at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, on May 11. In his speech, Butker encouraged women to be homemakers while criticizing IVF, birth control, Pride month and more.

Harrison Butker (Benedictine College / YouTube)

Harrison Butker (Benedictine College / YouTube)

In a statement obtained by TODAY.com, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, Jonathan Beane, said the kicker “gave a speech in his personal capacity.”

“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.”

TODAY.com has also reached out to the Chiefs and Butker but did not receive a response.

The three-time Super Bowl champion told women in his 20-minute speech that they were told “the most diabolical lies” before saying that his wife’s life “really started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

Butker also said Pride month is a “deadly sin sort of pride.” Pride month, typically held in June, is a month dedicated to celebrating the LGBTQ+ community.

The father of two also seemingly criticized birth control and fertility treatments, telling graduates that “there is nothing good about playing God with having children.” Butker also told men to be “unapologetic in your masculinity.”

Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night (Chris Unger / Getty Images)Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night (Chris Unger / Getty Images)

Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night (Chris Unger / Getty Images)

He also heavily criticized President Joe Biden and his response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While COVID might have played a large role throughout your formative years, it is not unique,” he said. “Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from pervasiveness of disorder.”

The speech was met with strong reactions across social media. Commenters flooded the Chiefs’ Instagram page demanding a response to the speech.

“You were happy to have more women as fans this season yet you support Harrison Butker? What an absolute slap in the face to every woman who has supported the Chiefs. Does the team also agree that we are only good to spot out babies and clean the house?” wrote one commenter.

“Cut Butker or lose fans. I would never want my younger brother or son to look up to him,” wrote another. “His speech was demeaning, uneducated, misogynistic and laced in male insecurity.”

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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