Chiefs’ Harrison Butker Criticized for Graduation Speech Attacking Working Women While Quoting Taylor Swift

Harrison Butker


Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered a controversial commencement speech during Benedictine College’s graduation ceremony that has sparked backlash on social media.  The 28-year-old’s address at the May 11 ceremony decried various “diabolical lies told to women” about topics including abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, as well as President Joe Biden.  “It is safe to say that over the years, I have gained quite the reputation for speaking my mind,” Butker began in his address.

The NFL player started by mentioning how this year’s graduates started college at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but said that, “while COVID might have played a large role throughout your formative years, it is not unique,” and took aim at “bad policies and poor leadership” that he says “have negatively impacted major life issues.”  “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.”

During the 20-minute speech, Butker quoted a lyric written by Taylor Swift, referring to her through her boyfriend Travis Kelce by calling her his “teammate’s girlfriend.”  “As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’ ” Butker said. Swift, 34, sings the line in her song, “Bejeweled” on her 2022 album, Midnights.


The Chiefs kicker then went on to address the female graduates in the room directly.  “For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” he began. “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 continued, “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.”

Speaking about his wife, Butker said, “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.”

He said that he is “beyond blessed” because Isabelle “would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: Homemaker.”  “Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you ask her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation, and say, ‘Hey, no.'”


Later, he addressed the male graduates directly, advising them to “be unapologetic in your masculinity,” and to “fight against the cultural emasculation of men,” in his speech.  “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 our communities,” Butker said.  “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.”

Elsewhere in his speech, Butker took aim at the LGBTQ+ community, calling their pride “deadly sins.”

Harrison Butker1

The reception to Butker’s speech has not been positive, with many fans calling for the kicker to be cut from Kansas City’s football team.  Former Kansas City commissioner Justice Horn slammed Butker in a post, writing, “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.”

A post from OutSports said, “One of the worst parts of this NFL player’s awful speech is that he quoted a Taylor Swift song before telling women they should be homemakers and serve their man’s career.”  OutSports writer Cyd Ziegler chimed in, “If you’re a woman cheering for the Kansas City @Chiefs, their “idiot kicker” thinks you will be most happy serving him in the kitchen.”


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