Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid stand by Harrison Butker after controversial commencement address

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's controversial commencement address does not appear to have affected his standing with his team of seven years.

Speaking to reporters for the first time since Butker addressed the graduates of Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said he disagreed with some of the statements made but endorsed Butker's character.

"I know Harrison. I've known him for seven years and I judge him by the character that he shows every single day and that's a good person. That's someone who cares about the people around him, cares about his family and wants to make a good impact in society. When you're in a locker room, there's a lot of people from a lot of different areas in life and they have a lot of different views on everything.

"We're not always going to agree, and there's certain things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with, but I understand the person that he is, and he is trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction. That might not be the same values as I have, but at the same time, I'm going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day. That's a great person, and we'll continue to move along and try to help build each other up to make ourselves better every single day."

When pressed on what exactly he disagreed with from Butker, Mahomes only alluded to "certain values that certain people emphasize more than others."

Butker spoke on a multiple politically touchy subjects, including his opposition to abortion, his opposition to in vitro fertilization, his opposition to LGBTQ pride, a false claim about the Antisemitism Awareness Act recently passed by the U.S. House and his belief that women have been told "diabolical lies" about pursuing professional careers rather than becoming homemakers.

The speech received applause at the conservative Benedectine College, while multiple groups, including a group of nuns affiliated with the school and some students, later criticized the statements. One of the Chiefs' division rivals also got a quick shot in.

FILE - Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) throws a pass during the second half of the AFC Championship NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, in Baltimore, Sunday, Jan. 28, 2024. The NFL announced Monday, May 13, that the Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs will open the season at home against the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday, Sept. 5. The game is a rematch of the AFC championship game in January, which the Chiefs won 17-10 in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)
Patrick Mahomes has been teammates with Harrison Butker for seven years. (AP Photo/Terrance Williams, File)

Chiefs head coach Andy Reid had a reaction similar to Mahomes', emphasizing the team's diversity while sidestepping his thoughts on the speech's content:

"I talk to Harrison all the time. I didn't talk to him about this. I didn't think we needed to. We're a microcosm of life. Everybody is from different areas, different religions, different races, and so, we all get along, we all respect each other's opinions and not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everybody to have a voice.

"It's the great thing about America and we're just, like I said, a microcosm of that. My wish is that everybody could kind of follow that."

Reid also said he didn't believe the topic had become a distraction for the Chiefs and that no female Chiefs employees had come to him with misgivings about Butker's speech.

The controversy surrounding Butker has been only one of a few off-field stories about the reigning Super Bowl champions, who have seen top wide receiver Rashee Rice arrested for his Lamborghini crash, the rejection of a stadium tax to keep the team at Arrowhead Stadium and the arrest of two players for marijuana possession.

Meanwhile, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell similarly pointed to the number of different opinions in the league's locker rooms, via Yahoo Sports' Jori Epstein:

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

The NFL had previously released a statement distancing itself from Butker's views.