NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Breaks Silence On Harrison Butker Speech

Harrison Butker (left) and Roger Goodell (right)
Harrison Butker (left) and Roger Goodell (right)

Following Harrison Butker's controversial 2024 Graduation speech, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell is speaking out.

As The Blast reported, Harrison Butker gave a commencement speech earlier this month at Benedictine College, a private Catholic school in Kansas, where he seemingly suggested that women's primary "vocation" is motherhood and being a "homemaker."

Inside Harrison Butker's Controversial Speech

Harrison Butker kicking the football

"For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment. You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you," Butker said. "How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?"

"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," the NFL kicker added.

Harrison Butker Seemingly Hints Women Should Become 'Homemakers'

Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl

"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 the stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation," he continued.

"I'm beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me," Butker said during his speech before adding, "but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker."

Roger Goodell Releases Statement On Harrison Butker Speech

Roger Goodell at NFL Playoffs - Los Angeles Rams vs. Dallas Cowboys

The NFL commissioner finally broke his silence on the controversial speech, telling the audience at the league meetings in Nashville, “We have over 3,000 players. We have executives around the league. They have diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does. That’s something we treasure."

This comes after the NFL released a statement claiming that Butker's views don't align with the organization's views.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told PEOPLE Magazine. “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.”

Over the years, the league has taken numerous steps to foster an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ fans and employees. For instance, they have introduced rainbow-themed NFL Pride merchandise and have partnered with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization, to host various Pride events at the Super Bowl.

Harrison Butker: The Men Need To 'Set The Tone Of The Culture'

Harrison Butker at NFL Super Bowl XLVIII Media Week

After addressing the ladies, Butker spoke directly to the men: "To the gentlemen here today: Part of what plagues our society is this lie that has been told to you that men are not necessary in the home or in our communities. As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction, and chaos set in."

"This absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation. Other countries do not have nearly the same absentee father rates as we find here in the U.S., and a correlation could be made in their drastically lower violence rates, as well," the Kansas City Chiefs player added.

'Be Unapologetic In Your Masculinity'

Harrison Butker on the football field

Butker did not stop there. "Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men," he told the graduating class. "Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy. You might have a talent that you don't necessarily enjoy, but if it glorifies God, maybe you should lean into that over something that you might think suits you better."

"I speak from experience as an introvert who now finds myself as an amateur public speaker and an entrepreneur, something I never thought I'd be when I received my industrial engineering degree," he continued.