Travis Kelce Calls Harrison Butker a ‘Great Person’ Following Controversial Commencement Speech

Travis Kelce has finally weighed in on Harrison Butker’s controversial Benedictine College commencement speech, during which the Kansas City Chiefs kicker quoted a Taylor Swift song while condemning President Joe Biden, abortion, birth control, LGBTQ Pride, the “cultural emasculation of men” and more.

On the Friday (May 24) episode of his and brother Jason Kelce’s podcast New Heights, the tight end noted that while he disagrees with “a majority” of the beliefs Butker shared during the Catholic school’s graduation ceremony, he thinks his teammate is “a great person.”

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“I’ve known him for seven-plus years,” Travis said. “I cherish him as a teammate. I think [Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes] said it best, where he is every bit of a great person and great teammate. He’s treated friends and family that I’ve introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness, and that’s how he treats everyone.”

As mentioned by Travis, the episode comes shortly after Mahomes defended Butker during a press conference at the Chiefs’ recent training complex in Kansas City. The quarterback told reporters that while he doesn’t share his teammate’s beliefs, he thinks Butker is “trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction.”

On Friday, Travis gave a similar sentiment. “When it comes down to his views and what he said … those are his,” the Ohio native said on the podcast as Jason nodded in agreement. “I can’t say I agree with the majority of it, or just about any of it outside of him loving his family and his kids. I don’t think I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life. That’s just not who I am.”

During his speech on May 11, Butker also promoted antisemitic misinformation about a congressional bill as well as discouraged the female graduates in attendance from focusing on careers outside of homemaking after earning their degrees. “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 said at the time. “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.”

Later on, Butker quoted Swift’s Midnights single “Bejeweled” while admonishing church leaders who gain too much satisfaction “from the adulation they receive from their parishioners” and “become overly familiar.”

“This undue familiarity will prove to be problematic every time,” he said with a smile. “Because as my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’”

In the weeks since Butker’s speech went viral, several stars — including Flavor Flav, Maren Morris and Eddie Vedder — have publicly denounced the kicker. On New Heights, Jason revealed that his wife, former field hockey player Kylie Kelce, was “a little bit frustrated” with his comments.

Travis, on the other hand, did not share how Swift reacted to Butker’s address — however, one could argue that the 14-time Grammy winner’s history of identifying as a feminist and advocating for LGBTQ rights speaks for itself.

Watch Travis open up about Butker’s commencement speech on New Heights below.

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