NFL Distances Itself From Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker’s Commencement Speech

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL has disavowed controversial comments made by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker in a college commencement speech last weekend.

Speaking at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., on Saturday, Butker referred to the LGBTQ community as committing “deadly sins” and said that “homemaker” is “one of the most important titles” a woman can have. He also made reference to “dangerous gender ideologies” and urged the men in the audience to "fight against the cultural emasculation of men.”

The NFL distanced itself from Butker’s comments in a statement from its chief diversity and inclusion officer.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” NFL spokesperson Jonathan Beane said in a statement to People. “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.”

Contacted Thursday by The Athletic, the Chiefs declined to comment.

Butker expressed other conservative viewpoints in his 20-minute speech at the small Catholic school, saying 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” and that the “absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation.”

Butker, 28, has been the Chiefs’ kicker since 2017, during which time the team has won three Super Bowls.

Dan Gartland


Dan Gartland is the writer and editor of Sports Illustrated’s flagship daily newsletter, SI:AM, covering everything an educated sports fan needs to know. Previously published on Deadspin and Slate, Dan also is a former Sports Jeopardy! champion (Season 1, Episode 5).