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Backlash against Harrison Butker grows: NFL says it does NOT support his controversial comments, executives say he doesn’t represent Kansas City, and petition to remove him from Chiefs tops 80,000

The backlash against Chiefs star Harrison Butker continues to grow with the NFL releasing a statement that distances the organization from his bizarre commencement speech in which he told women they should aspire to become housewives.

This press release comes as the petition to remove him from the list of Super Bowl champions approaches 100,000 signatures. It premiered just a day after his speech at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

Butker, 28, who has made his conservative Catholic beliefs known, also attacked Pride Month, a particularly important time for the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion.

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

“His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in its commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger,” said Beane, who also serves as vice -senior president.

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates on the field with his wife Isabelle and their son after defeating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates on the field with his wife Isabelle and their son after defeating the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Championship Game at Arrowhead Stadium on January 19, 2020 in Kansas City, Missouri.

Butker detailed his beliefs on gender roles for men and women at Benedictine College

Butker detailed his beliefs on gender roles for men and women at Benedictine College

The 2017 seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech has become one of the NFL's best kickers, breaking the Chiefs' franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2022.

The 2017 seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech has become one of the NFL’s best kickers, breaking the Chiefs’ franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2022.

At the time of writing, the petition demanding Butker be removed from the Chiefs has surpassed 80,000 signatures.

At the time of writing, the petition demanding Butker be removed from the Chiefs has surpassed 80,000 signatures.

As of this writing, the Change.org petition, “Demand Kansas City Chiefs Fire Harrison Butker for Discriminatory Remarks,” has more than 80,000 signatures.

“These dehumanizing remarks against LGBTQ+ people, attacks on abortion rights and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights,” he also said.

The petition’s blurb called the speech “sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist.”

For comparison, a petition titled “I support Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker” has only 800 signatures.

Former Kansas City Commissioner Judge Horn also criticized Butker in a social media post, writing, “Harrison Butker does not represent Kansas City and he never has. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms and embraces members of our LGBTQ+ community

Butker’s comments have been reverberating across the internet for days.

“I think it’s you women who have heard the most evil lies,” the Georgia Tech graduate said.

“Some of you may go on to successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are very excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into the world,” he said. declared.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly began when she began to live her vocation as a wife and mother.”

Butker said his wife embraced “one of the most important titles of all.” Household.’

He also criticized, calling it derogatory to the Catholic Church, an Associated Press article highlighting a shift toward conservatism in some parts of the Church.

The three-time Super Bowl champion delivered his roughly 20-minute speech Saturday at the private Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, located about 60 miles north of Kansas City.

He received a standing ovation from graduates and other attendees.

Butler, 28, referred to a “kind of mortal sin pride that a month is dedicated to” in an indirect reference to Pride Month.

Butler also took aim at Biden’s policies, including his condemnation of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade 1973 and his advocacy of freedom of choice – a key issue in the 2024 presidential campaign.

Biden, who is Catholic, has a storied history on the issue. He initially opposed the Roe v. Wade, saying she was going too far. He also opposed federal funding of abortions and supported restrictions on abortions later in pregnancy.

Butker also addressed Biden’s response to COVID-19, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“While COVID may have played a significant role throughout your formative years, it is not unique,” ​​he said. “Bad policies and leadership have had a negative impact on major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as increasing support for degenerate cultural values ​​and media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with his children after kicking the field goal to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with his children after kicking the field goal to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023 in Glendale, Arizona

The graduates had mixed opinions about the speech. ValerieAnne Volpe, 20, an art major, praised Butker for saying things that “people are afraid to say.”

“You can just hear that he loves his wife. You can hear he loves his family,” she said.

Elle Wilbers, 22, who is studying medicine, said she was shocked by Butker’s criticism of priests and bishops and his reference to the LGBTQ+ community, which she called “horrible”.

“We should have compassion for people who have been told their whole lives that the person they love is like it’s not okay to love that person,” Wilbers said.

Kassidy Neuner, 22, who will spend a gap year teaching before entering law school, said being a stay-at-home parent was “a wonderful decision.”

“And it’s not for everyone either,” Neuner said, adding, “I think he should have emphasized more that it’s not always an option.” And if that’s your choice in life, that’s amazing for you. But there is also the possibility of being a mother and having a career.

The Chiefs declined to comment on Butker’s opening speech.

The 2017 seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech has become one of the NFL’s best kickers, breaking the Chiefs’ franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2022.

Butker helped them win their first Super Bowl in 50 years in 2020, added a second Lombardi Trophy in 2023 and he kicked the field goal that forced overtime in a Super Bowl victory over San Francisco in February.

Butker Speech at Private Catholic Liberal Arts School in Kansas

“It’s safe to say that over the years I’ve gained a solid reputation for speaking my mind,” Butker said at the start of his speech.

He addressed the men in the room saying, “To the gentlemen here today, part of what is plaguing society is this lie you have been told that men are not needed in the home or in our communities.

“As men, we set the tone of culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction, and chaos take hold.

“This absence of men at home is what plays a significant role in the violence we see across the country.

“…Don’t apologize for your masculinity. Fight against the cultural emasculation of men. Do difficult things. Never settle for what’s easy.

Butker even cited Taylor Swift, although he only referred to her as “his teammate’s girlfriend.”

“As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,'” he told the audience, referencing Swift’s song Bejeweled from her 2022 album Midnights.

He also addressed women at the ceremony: “I think it is you women who have been told the most evil lies.

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

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly began when she began to live her vocation as a wife and mother.

“I stand on this stage today, able to be the man I am, because I have a wife who relies on her calling.”

“I am beyond blessed by the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in middle school music class would convert to faith, would become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all, that of a housewife.

Butker also criticized the Biden administration: “While COVID may have played a significant role throughout your formative years, it is not unique,” ​​he said.

“Bad policies and lack of leadership have negatively impacted major life issues.

“Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as increasing support for degenerate cultural values ​​and media, all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder. »

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