Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager Slam Harrison Butker's Controversial Commencement Speech: 'Stop Speaking for Women'

The Chiefs kicker stirred up controversy when he addressed women during a commencement speech and spoke about his wife embracing 'one of the most important titles of all: homemaker'

<p>John Nacion/Getty; Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty </p>

John Nacion/Getty; Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty

Hoda Kotb and  Jenna Bush Hager have an issue with men speaking about what women should want.

On the Thursday, May 16 episode of Today with Hoda and Jenna, Kotb, 59, and Bush Hager, 42, discussed the controversial speech delivered by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Benedictine College's commencement on May 11.

In the NFL player's speech, he addressed the "ladies" present at the ceremony.

"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," Butker, 28, said at the graduation ceremony. "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."

Related: Chiefs' Harrison Butker Criticized for Graduation Speech Attacking Working Women While Quoting Taylor Swift

Speaking about his wife Isabelle, Butker said he was "incredibly blessed" that she would "convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: Homemaker."

"Isabelle's dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you ask her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation, and say, 'Hey, no,'" he continued.

On their show, Bush Hager pointed out that she has the career she has today because her husband, Henry Hager, treats her as an "equal."

"I’m where I am today because I have a husband who leans into his vocation, which is being an equal partner, and I tell him that all of the time," Bush Hager said.

"I would just say this, we have all of these people that try to divide us by labels. People that stay at home are amazing, the work they do is incredible and let’s not compare one to the other, by a man!"

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



"Don’t speak for us. I think that's kind of the thing. Stop speaking for women out there," Kotb chimed in.

"... I think that there’s a thing about someone speaking for [someone]," Kotb added. "And [Butker] may be speaking for a lot of people, but you can’t speak for everyone."

"Women get to decide what they want to do," she continued.

The co-hosts also praised stay-at-home parents — with Bush Hager adding that "the work they do is incredible" — but argued that Butker's position is a privileged one, considering that not every household can afford to have one parent stay at home instead of work.

"It's an elitist concept to begin with," she said.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

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

Elsewhere in Butker's speech, he spoke out against "diabolical lies told to women" about topics including abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF), surrogacy, and President Joe Biden. He also said that the LGBTQ+ community was partaking in "deadly sins" by celebrating pride.

When addressing the men in the audience, Butker told them to “be unapologetic in your masculinity," and to "fight against the cultural emasculation of men."

The PEOPLE Puzzler crossword is here! How quickly can you solve it? Play now!

The NFL later issued a statement on the player's remarks, noting 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, told PEOPLE in a 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."

For more People news, make sure to sign up for our newsletter!

Read the original article on People.