NFL Responds To Harrison Butker's Controversial Graduation Ceremony Speech

Harrison Butker kicking the football

Following the backlash Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker received for his graduation ceremony speech, the NFL has responded.

When speaking at Benedictine College's graduation ceremony, Butker took aim at the LGBTQ+ community, gender roles, and abortion rights, which has sparked controversy across the nation. Following the news, the NFL organization is speaking out, claiming their views do not align with Butker's.

Harrison Butker Says The LGBTQ+ Community's Pride Are 'Deadly Sins'

Harrison Butker on the football field

Not only did the NFL kicker mention that "things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerative cultural values in media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder," but he also said that the LGBTQ+ community's pride is a "deadly sin."

After hearing the speech, the NFL organization released a statement, distancing themselves from the Chiefs kicker.

NFL Responds To Harrison Butker's Controversial Speech About Gender Roles

Harrison Butker on the football field

“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 made several efforts to create an inclusive environment for LGBTQ+ fans and employees. For example, they have launched rainbow-inspired NFL Pride gear and have hosted many Pride parties at the Super Bowl in conjunction with GLAAD, the world’s largest LGBTQ media advocacy organization.

Former Kansas City commissioner Justice Horn also spoke out after hearing Butker's speech. "Harrison Butker doesn’t represent Kansas City nor has he ever. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms, and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members," he wrote.

Butker Talks About Gender Roles

Harrison Butker at 2024 AFC Championship Football Game in Baltimore

During one portion of this speech, Butker spoke directly to "the ladies present today." While congratulating them "on an amazing accomplishment," he claimed women have had "the most diabolical lies told" to them.

"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?"

Butker Says Women Should Be 'Homemakers'

Harrison Butker kicking at Super Bowl LVIII

"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 player added. "I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say 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 that I am, because I have a wife who leans into her vocation," Harrison Butker continued. "I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, 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."

Harrison Butker Tells The Men To 'Set The Tone Of The Culture'

Harrison Butker at Chiefs ring ceremony

The NFL kicker then told the men that they "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," he said. "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."

"Be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men. 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," he added.

The Kansas City Chiefs have yet to comment on Harrison Butker's speech.