Harrison Butker Breaks His Silence and Doubles Down on Viral Commencement Speech

Robin Alam/Getty Images
Robin Alam/Getty Images

Harrison Butker has finally responded to the backlash he faced for the sexist, homophobic graduation speech he gave two weeks ago, and he made it clear the outrage hasn’t changed his mind one bit.

Instead, Butker told the crowd at the “Courage Under Fire” gala that the backlash only demonstrated how “timeless Catholic values” were under attack.

Speaking at the gala, which was hosted by the Catholic PreK-12 “homeschool hybrid academy” Regina Caeli Academy where Butker is a board member, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker doubled down on the controversial remarks made at Benedictine College.

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“Over the past few days my beliefs, or what people think I believe, have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe,” Butker said. “At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate.”

In the Benedictine commencement speech, Butker called gay pride a “deadly sin” and railed against abortion, IVF, and surrogacy. He also told female graduates that their excitement about professional success stemmed from “the most diabolical lies” told to women, and suggested they “embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

The speech was predictably met with vitriol, spurring a Change.org petition to get Butker fired from the Chiefs and prompting the NFL and some of Butker’s high-profile teammates to distance themselves from him.

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Others, however, defended the kicker on the grounds of free speech and expression. Whoopi Goldberg compared Butker to Colin Kaepernick, who famously took a knee to protest police brutality during the national anthem before games. That support didn’t go unnoticed by the Chiefs kicker.

“But as the days went on,” Butker continued, “even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

Butker added that he was used to public scrutiny of his performance on the football field, but that couldn’t compare to the hate he got for his speech.

“But 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,” Butker said.

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