Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker goes on transphobic, sexist rant during graduation speech

Kansas City Chiefs Harrison Butker
Kansas City Chiefs Harrison Butker

A player for the back-to-back Super Bowl-winning Kansas City Chiefs NFL team has been called out for transphobic and misogynistic remarks he made during a graduation speech over the weekend.

Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker used his commencement speech at Benedictine College to voice anti-LGBTQ+ opinions on Pride Month, transgender people, and traditional gender roles, sparking backlash.

In his 20-minute speech, the football player attacked various social issues, starting with what he called “dangerous gender ideologies.” He referenced Pride Month, claiming, “Not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it, but the true God-centered pride that is cooperating with the holy ghost to glorify him.”

Butker also said, “Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

The Chiefs kicker didn’t stop there, directing strong words toward women about their roles in society. He shared his views on traditional gender roles, saying, “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. 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.”

He praised his wife for embracing her role as a homemaker, attributing his success to her.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I’m on this stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation,” Butker said.

He also criticized prominent Catholic leaders, linking their faith to political stances. “Our own nation is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally,” he said of President Joe Biden.

The speech concluded with a call for men to embrace traditional masculinity.

“Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things; never settle for what is easy,” Butker said.

GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis was sharply critical of Butker’s remarks.

“Traditionally, commencement speeches are meant to celebrate and inspire graduates and their families. Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was not only a clear miss, it was inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people and women,” Ellis said. “Those with expansive platforms, especially athletes, should use their voices to uplift and expand understanding and acceptance in the world. Instead, Butker’s remarks undermine experiences not of his own and reveal him to be one who goes against his own team’s commitment to the Kansas City community, and the NFL’s standards for respect, inclusion, and diversity across the League.”

The Chiefs and the NFL Player’s Association did not immediately respond to The Advocate’s request for comment.