Harrison Butker Doubles Down on Controversial Comments Attacking Working Women and LGBTQ+ Community

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” the Chiefs kicker said on May 24

<p>Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty</p> Harrison Butker on Feb. 5, 2024

Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty

Harrison Butker on Feb. 5, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is doubling down after he came under fire for controversial comments about women being homemakers, abortion and other topics during a May 11 commencement speech.

On Friday, May 24, Butker, 28, addressed the crowd at the Courage Under Fire gala in Nashville, held by the Catholic hybrid homeschooling organization Regina Caeli Academy, for which he serves on the board.

In this new speech, Butker defended his commencement address at Benedictine College, in which he addressed female students directly and spoke about his wife's decision to become a homemaker rather than work.

“If it wasn't clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” Butker said, per CNN, referencing the reactions to his speech.

<p>Benedictine College/Youtube</p> Harrison Butker at Benedictine College on May 11, 2024

Benedictine College/Youtube

Harrison Butker at Benedictine College on May 11, 2024

Related: NFL Says They Do Not Agree with Harrison Butker's 'Views' in Graduation Speech, Are Committed to 'Inclusion'

Butker also spoke about his Catholic faith and referenced Saint Daniel, whose biblical story involves being saved by God after he was thrown into a lion's den for his commitment to his faith.

“Over the past few days, my beliefs, or what people think I believe, have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe," he continued. "Many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion."

A video of his speech was also shared on social media by the right-wing media organization The Daily Wire. Matt Walsh, one of the outlet's hosts, also spoke at the gala Friday night, according to CNN.

"I can't help but tremble at the thought of the courage many saints have shown in their lives," the kicker continued, referencing the story of Daniel in the Old Testament. "Would I be so bold if the repercussion was what Daniel faced in being fed to lions?"

"Any courage I've shown will lead to some small suffering. And it will lead to some people maybe never liking me, but that could be God's will," he added.

Related: Harrison Butker Urged Graduates to 'Get Married and Start a Family' During Georgia Tech Speech Last Year

During Butker's May 11 speech, he spoke about "diabolical lies told to women" about abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy. He also said that the LGBTQ+ community's pride was a "deadly sin."

"Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerative cultural values in media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder," he said at the time.

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Addressing women at the ceremony directly, he said: "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."

His comments were widely criticized, including by the NFL.

"Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity," Jonathan Beane, the NFL's senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told PEOPLE in a written statement on May 16. "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."

Related: Travis Kelce Responds to Harrison Butker's Controversial Speech: 'Can't Say I Agree with Majority of It'

Former Kansas City commissioner Justice Horn also slammed Butker in an X (formerly Twitter) post, writing, "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."

Even the kicker's teammate spoke out against his comments. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce addressed his speech in a May 24 episode of the New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce.

"I cherish him as a teammate,” he said, but “I can't say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. And I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that’s just not who I am.”

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