Chiefs' Andy Reid Defends Harrison Butker for Controversial Speech

Originally appeared on E! Online

Andy Reid is weighing in on Harrison Butker's eyebrow-raising remarks.

Amid the controversy over the Kansas City Chiefs kicker's polarizing commencement speech at Benedictine College May 11, his coach expressed that the athlete has the right to say what he believes in.

"Everybody's got their own opinion," Reid said during a May 22 press conference. "And that's what's so great about this country, you could share those things, and you work through it."

As the three-time Super Bowl winning coach pointed out, the Chiefs are a "microcosm of life," with players coming from "different areas, different religions, different races."

"We all get along, we all respect each other's opinions," he continued, "and not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everybody to have a voice."

As for Butker's comments on the role of women—with him suggesting that women "are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world"—Reid noted that Harrison likely didn't have any bad intentions by it.

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"I don't think he was speaking ill of women," he said. "He has his opinions, and we all respect that. I let you guys in this room and you have a lot of opinions that I don't like."

Andy Reid
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

The 66-year-old also said he didn't feel a need to address the speech with Butker, reiterating that "a great thing about America" is that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and he wishes "that everybody could kind of follow that."

The 28-year-old has yet to comment on the growing backlash to his controversial speech, during which he also touched on topics like abortion and LGBTQ+ rights.

And Reid isn't the only one who has come to his defense.

Harrison Butker
Robin Alam/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Everybody Loves Raymond actress Patricia Heaton also thinks that Harrison is entitled to his opinion, saying in a May 18 Instagram video, "He's not a monster for stating what he believes."

Her words echoed Whoopi Goldberg's perspective.

"I like when people say what they need to say—he's at a Catholic College, he's a staunch Catholic," she told her co-hosts on The View's May 16 episode. "These are his beliefs and he's welcome to him. I don't have to believe them, right? I don't have to accept them. The ladies that were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them."

Curious to see what other stars have said about the controversy? Keep reading.

Maren Morris

<p>Maren Morris</p>

Maria Shriver

<p>Maria Shriver</p>

Patricia Heaton

<p>Patricia Heaton</p>

Whoopi Goldberg

<p>Whoopi Goldberg</p>

Patrick Mahomes

<p><strong>Patrick Mahomes</strong></p>

Andy Reid

<p><strong>Andy Reid</strong></p>

Bill Maher

<p>Bill Maher</p>

Tavia and Gracie Hunt

<p>Tavia and Gracie Hunt</p>

Roger Goodell

<p><strong>Roger Goodell</strong></p>

"Listen, we have over 3,000 players. We have executives around the league. They have a diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does," the NFL commissioner said. "I think that's something that we treasure and that's part of, I think, ultimately what makes us as a society better."

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