Travis Kelce Reacts To Kansas City Chiefs Kicker's Controversial Graduation Speech

Travis Kelce has weighed in on a controversial speech by his Kansas City Chiefs teammate Harrison Butker, who dismissively referenced Kelce’s girlfriend, megastar singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, and expressed bigoted views in remarks at Benedictine College earlier this month.

During Friday’s episode of his podcast, “New Heights,” the Chiefs tight end said that he believes Butker is “a great person and a great teammate,” and that he’s only seen him treat people with “nothing but respect and kindness.”

But Kelce distanced himself from Butker’s views, saying that the kicker’s beliefs “are his.”

“I can’t say I agree with the majority of it, or just about any of it, outside of just him loving his family and his kids,” Kelce said of his teammate’s speech.

At the same time, the tight end said that he doesn’t think he “should judge [Butker] by his views, especially his religious views.”

“I grew up in a beautiful upbringing of different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities, in Cleveland Heights ... It showed me a broad spectrum, or just a broad view of a lot of different walks of life,” Kelce said. “I appreciated every single one of those people for different reasons, and I never once had to feel like I needed to judge them based off of their beliefs.”

Speaking to his brother and podcast co-host, retired Eagles center Jason Kelce, Travis explained how his own upbringing did not reflect Butker’s argument that being a homemaker is “one of the most important titles of all” for women.

“My household — my mother and my father both provided for our family,” Travis said. “Both my mother and my father made home what it was. So they were homemakers and they were providers, and they were unbelievable at being present every single day of my life.”

“No doubt,” Jason said.

“That was a beautiful upbringing for me,” Travis continued. “I don’t think everyone should do it the way that my parents did. But... I sure as hell thank my parents and love my parents for being able to provide and making sure that home was what it was.”

He added, “I’m not the same person without both of them being who they were in my life.”

Butker has received widespread backlash since his archconservative commencement speech at the Catholic liberal arts college in Atchison, Kansas.

During his address, Butker referred to Pride month as a “deadly sin,” and took aim at “dangerous gender ideologies” and the “tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion.”

Butker also said he believed the majority of the female graduates in the crowd were likely “most excited” about the possibility of one day getting married and having children. He suggested that his wife Isabelle Butker’s life “truly started” when she became a wife and mother.

While criticizing some Catholic priests, he quoted a song by Swift without naming the music icon, only referring to her as “my teammate’s girlfriend.”

The NFL released a statement last week distancing itself from Butker’s comments, saying that “his views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Jason Kelce said on Friday’s episode that he doesn’t “align” himself with a lot of things Butker said in his commencement speech, but that he connected with the kicker’s love for his family.

“When you’re listening to somebody, you take in things that you like, you listen to other things, and you say, ‘Well, I don’t fucking like that,’” Jason said.

He later added: “If you don’t like what somebody says, all you gotta do is say, ‘Oh, that guy’s a fucking idiot.’ And then you move on.”