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

Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs warms up before the game against the Philadelphia Eagles prior to Super Bowl LVII at State Farm Stadium on February 12, 2023

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered a controversial commencement speech at Benedictine College’s graduation ceremony that sparked backlash on social media.

In his speech at the May 11 ceremony, the 28-year-old denounced various “evil lies told to women” on topics including abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, as well as on President Joe Biden.

“It’s safe to say that over the years I’ve gained a solid reputation for speaking my mind,” Butker began his speech.

The NFL player began by mentioning how this year’s graduates began college at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, but said that “even though COVID may have played a significant role throughout your formative years, it’s not unique”, and took aim at “bad policies and poor leadership” which he said “had a negative impact on major life issues”.

“Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as increasing support for degenerative cultural values ​​in the media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

During the 20-minute speech, Butker quoted lyrics written by Taylor Swift, referring to her through her boyfriend Travis Kelce as “his teammate’s girlfriend.”

“As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt,’” Butker said. Swift, 34, sings the line to her song “Bejeweled” on her 2022 album, Midnight.

Harrison Butker, Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift.

Jason Hanna/Getty Images; JC Olivera/Getty Images; Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty

The Chiefs kicker then spoke directly to the graduates in the room.

“To the ladies present today, congratulations on this incredible achievement,” he began. “I want to speak to you directly briefly because I think it’s you women who have told yourselves the most evil lies.”

Butker continued: “Some of you may go on to successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are very excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into the world.”

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Speaking of his wife, Butker said: “I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly began when she began to live out her calling as a wife and mother.”

He said he was “more than blessed” because Isabelle would “convert to the faith, become my wife, and adopt one of the most important titles of all: that of housewife.”

“Isabelle’s dream of a career may not have come true, but if you ask her today if she regrets her decision, she will burst out laughing without hesitation and say, ‘Hey, no.'”

Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates with his children after kicking a field goal to beat the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII.
Carmen Mandato/Getty

He later addressed male graduates directly, advising them to “not apologize for their masculinity” and to “fight against the cultural emasculation of men”, in his speech.

“For gentlemen here today, part of what is plaguing our society is this lie that you have been told that men are not needed in the home or in 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 an important role in the violence we see all over the country.”

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

Harrison Butker kicks the ball during Super Bowl LVIII.


The reception to Butker’s speech was not positive, with many fans calling for the kicker to be kicked off the Kansas City football team.

Former Kansas City Commissioner Judge Horn criticized Butker in an article, writing: “Harrison Butker does not represent Kansas City and he never has. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms and embraces the members of our LGBTQ+ community.”

An OutSports article said: “One of the worst parts of this NFL player’s horrible speech is that he quoted a Taylor Swift song before telling women they should be housewives and serve their man’s career.”

OutSports writer Cyd Ziegler added: “If you’re a woman cheering for the Kansas City @Chiefs, their ‘idiot kicker’ thinks you’ll be happier serving him in the kitchen.”

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