Harrison Butker leads Chiefs merchandise in sales after commencement speech

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is receiving plenty of support after his polarizing Benedictine College commencement speech.

Butker is widely known for his conservative Catholic beliefs and thoroughly expressed those views during the speech, drawing the ire of many. He expressed his disdain on several topics during his 20-minute speech, blasting the LGBTQ+ community, women’s roles in society, abortion, and denouncing President Joe Biden.

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“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” Butker said. “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. I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

Chiefs defensive tackle Chris Jones was the first team representative to speak on Butker’s speech after a petition began for the Chiefs to cut the kicker. Tavia Hunt, wife of Chiefs chairman/CEO Clark Hunt, posted on Instagram boosting Butker’s sentiments in support of stay-at-home mothers.

“Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted,” Tavia said.

Tavia posted pictures of her with her daughters Gracie and Ava in the post. Gracie went on “Fox & Friends” on Friday and also voiced support for Butker.

“I can only speak from my own experience,” she began. “I’ve had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up. I understand that there are many women out there who can’t make that decision but for me and my life, I know it was really formative in shaping me and my siblings to be who we are.”

“I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he’s accomplished on and off the field.”

Fans have followed suit in supporting Butker by making his merchandise the top-selling merch on the team. On the NFL Shop, Butker’s men’s jersey and t-shirt are listed under “Most Popular” among Chiefs gear. Butker’s men’s and women’s sweatshirts are listed under the same tag.

Butker’s jersey is also third among the best-selling men’s jerseys in the league.

The NFL and the Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, the founding sisters of Benedictine College, denounced Butker’s comments.

From Jonathan Beane, NFL Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer:

Harrison Butker gave a speech in his 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.

“Our community has taught young women and men not just how to be “homemakers” in a limited sense, but rather how to make a Gospel-centered, compassionate home within themselves where they can welcome others as Christ, empowering them to be the best versions of themselves.

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Kansas City’s X account tweeted the city Butker lives in, which is not Kansas City, then deleted it. Mayor Quinton Lucas apologized for the post.

Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey demanded Lucas turn over all documents, records, and communication regarding the post.

The petition calling for the Chiefs to release Butker currently has over 200,000 signatures.

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