Kansas City Chiefs

NFL distances itself from Chiefs’ Harrison Butker’s Benedictine College speech

In response to the controversy surrounding Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at Benedictine College, the NFL distanced itself from the ideas expressed in the speech, saying the league does not share the beliefs the Kansas City Chiefs kicker expressed while directed the graduate students.

During the opening speech, Butker referred to Pride Month as an example of the “deadly sins”. He also addressed gender ideologies and said that a woman’s most important title is “housekeeper”.

“Not the kind of pride in capital sins that has a whole month dedicated to it,” Butker said, “but real God-centered pride that is cooperating with the holy spirit to glorify Him.”

Butker spoke for more than 20 minutes to students at the Catholic school in Atchison, Kan., and said he wanted the graduating class to stop political leaders from interfering in social issues that affect their relationship with church

In response, NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said in a statement The Athletic that Butker delivered the speech “in a personal capacity.”

“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,” Beane said. Her statement was first reported by People.

Bosses declined to comment when reached Thursday The Athletic.

While Pride Month, which is in June, falls outside of the NFL season, the league participates in LGBTQ+ initiatives. On the Wednesday before Super Bowl LVIII, the NFL hosted a “Pride Night” event in partnership with GLAAD, the LGBTQ+ advocacy organization.

The Chiefs are among the NFL teams that have a selection of Pride apparel in rainbow colors. Kansas City is also among the many American cities hosting Pride events in June, led by the KC Pride Community Alliance.

Later Thursday, legendary college football coach and television analyst Lou Holtz took to X to thank Butker “for staying strong in his faith values.”

“Your commencement speech at Benedictine College showed courage and conviction and I admire that,” Holtz wrote, then linked to an America First Works form for people to sign and thank Butker for his comments.

 

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