Chiefs’ Harrison Butker makes first public comment since commencement speech

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has heard much of what has been said and written about him in the two weeks since delivering a much-discussed commencement speech at Benedictine College.

Butker has been denounced and praised by those who don’t know him, while his teammates and coach stood by him, even if not everyone agreed with what he said.

On Friday, Butker spoke out about the maelstrom at the “Courage Under Fire Gala” in Nashville. That’s an event put on by the Regina Caeli Academy, which says it is “an accredited PreK-12 Classical homeschool hybrid academy for Catholic families.”

Butker said he was a board member for the Regina Caeli Academy, which says it has a location in Overland Park. At Friday’s gala, Butker stood by his words at Benedictine College.

“The theme for tonight’s gala — ’Courage Under Fire’ — was decided many months ago, but it now seems providential that this would be the theme after what we have all witnessed these past two weeks,” Butker said to cheers. “If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now. Over the past few days my beliefs, or what people think I believe, have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe.

“At the outset, 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.”

In his Benedictine speech, Butker spoke out against President Joe Biden, Pride month and some Catholic leaders. He also spoke directly to the female graduates and said while many will go on to lead successful careers, the majority would be most excited “about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world.”

In his speech Friday, Butker mentioned how he has long been the subject of praise and scorn because of his results with the Chiefs.

That’s nothing compared to what he’s heard since opening up about his Catholic beliefs.

“But as to be expected, the more I’ve talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become. It’s a decision I’ve consciously made, and one I do not regret at all,” Butker said.

“If we have truth in charity, we should trust in the Lord’s providence and let the Holy Ghost do the rest of the work.”

Butker admitted that some people will never like him because of what he’s said about his Catholic faith.

“I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it is not people, but Jesus Christ who I’m trying to please,” Butker said. “I’m humbled by the support I’ve received from all walks of life, but I can’t help but tremble at the thought of the courage many saints have shown in their lives.”