Patricia Heaton Defends Harrison Butker's Commencement Speech: 'He's Not a Monster'

The actress and mother of four shared her perspective in a video posted to Instagram

<p>Patricia Heaton/Instagram; Perry Knotts/Getty</p> From Left: Patricia Heaton; and Harrison Butker

Patricia Heaton/Instagram; Perry Knotts/Getty

From Left: Patricia Heaton; and Harrison Butker

Patricia Heaton is adding her perspective — as a “Catholic woman” — to the outcry following Harrison Butker’s commencement speech.

In a video posted to Instagram, the Everybody Loves Raymond alum, 66, said that she doesn’t understand the controversy that followed in the wake of the Kansas City Chiefs kicker’s comments on May 11 at Benedictine College.

“I don’t understand why everybody's knickers are in a twist,” Heaton said in her post on Saturday, May 18. “He gave a commencement speech. The audience applauded twice during the speech and gave him a standing ovation at the end, so clearly they enjoyed what he was saying.”

Heaton continued, “The guy is espousing his own opinions and Catholic doctrine, um, so what? It’s his opinion. He can have one. He’s allowed. He’s not a monster for stating what he believes."

Related: Wife of Chiefs Owner Says Praising Motherhood 'Is Not Bigoted' After Harrison Butker Graduation Speech

The actress added that Butker “went after bishops much more than he went after women” in his speech, which has since gone viral for the athlete’s disavowal of the LGBTQ+ community, working women, abortion rights and more.

In his address, the Georgia native spoke directly to the female graduates in the audience, warning them about the “diabolical lies” that he said they have been told.

"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," he said.

Related: Chargers Mock Chiefs’ Harrison Butker in Schedule Release Video and Make Him a ‘Homemaker’: Watch

The Emmy award-winning actress argued that she was able to succeed on both fronts. “I am a Catholic woman who worked through my kids’ childhood and I believe that God opened those doors for me and thankfully it was a schedule that allowed me to be a full-time mom basically,” she said.

Heaton’s comments come days after other public figures — including Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager, Maria Shriver and Flavor Flav — batted back Butker’s assertions.

Most recently, singer Eddie Vedder made a dig at the kicker during a performance in Las Vegas. "There should be pride in homemaking if you’re a man or a woman … it’s one of the hardest jobs and you should definitely take pride in it, but you’re going to benefit by giving up your dreams?" he said, per NBC News. “I couldn’t understand the logic, so I’m questioning it in public right now … It’s not a graduation speech.”

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Meanwhile, on The View, Whoopi Goldberg defended Butker’s address, and compared him to another athlete — former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who famously kneeled during the national anthem in 2016. "The same way we want to represent when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different than ours," Goldberg said.

Heaton said she believes her life is “very different” from Butker’s, but that she finds nothing offensive about his comments — and she urged her followers and those following the controversy to take a breather. “Relax, everybody,” she said.

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