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Harrison Butker defends controversial commencement speech: ‘Catholic values are hated by many’

Harrison Butker fiercely defended the controversial Benedictine College commencement speech he gave earlier this month during Friday evening’s Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala.

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” the Kansas City Chiefs kicker, who is on the board of the Catholic homeschool hybrid school, said while at the fundraiser.

“Over the past few days, my beliefs — or what people think I believe — have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe.”

BREAKING: In first public remarks since his commencement speech sparked a liberal meltdown, Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker makes very clear he’s not backing down from his faith. @buttkicker7— Daily Wire (@realDailyWire) May 25, 2024

Harrison Butker defended his controversial Benedictine College commencement Friday evening at the Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala. BenedictineCollege

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” the Kansas City Chiefs kicker stated. BenedictineCollege

He added, “At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints, shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

Referencing his seven years in the NFL, Butker, 27, said he’s become accustomed to criticism of his performance on the field and has now grown to be familiar with hate off the field.

“As to be expected, the more I’ve talked about what I value most, which is my Catholic faith, the more polarizing I have become,” he went on.

Making his stance clear, Butker continued, “It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all. If we have truth and charity, we should trust in the Lord’s providence and let the Holy Ghost do the rest of the work.”

Butker said he is not bothered by the criticism and encouraged people to “speak out” about their Catholic views. Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

“Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation despite any push back or even support,” he reasoned. Getty Images

The father of three then encouraged gala attendees to continue to share their Catholic beliefs with the world and live “with joy to be a good witness for Christ.”

“Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation despite any push back or even support,” he added.

Butker concluded by pointing out that he hopes his latest speech and the theme of the night — which was “Courage Under Fire” — would “embolden others that many more will be unapologetic of their Catholic faith and never be afraid to speak out for truth, even when it goes against the loudest voices.”

Butker confirmed he will continue to defend his Catholic views. Getty Images

“It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all,” he said. Getty Images

Butker was slammed after his May 11 commencement speech, during which he told the women graduating before him that they had been told “diabolical lies” about how they should live their lives. He also encouraged them to become a wife, mother and homemaker.

“How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?” he asked at the time.

“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.”

Butker was also criticized for describing Pride Month as one of “the deadly sins” and labeling “abortion, IVF, and surrogacy as the products of “disorder.”

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Butker came under fire earlier this month after he criticized Pride Month and things such as abortion and IVF while giving a graduation speech at Benedictine College. Getty Images

He also told the women graduating that their most important role in life will be a homemaker.

GLAAD, an LGBTQIA+ organization, previously spoke out against Butker’s speech to Page Six.

“Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was not only a clear miss, it was inaccurate, ill-informed and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people and women,” GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis told us last week.

“Those with expansive platforms, especially athletes, should use their voices to uplift and expand understanding and acceptance in the world.”

The NFL also released a statement saying that Butker’s views “are not those” of the organization.

Former Las Vegas Raiders defensive end and current free agent Isaac Rochell then poked fun at the situation by calling himself a “stay-at-home husband.”

However, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes recently said Butker is a “good person” — even though he previously admitted that the two teammates are not close and rarely speak to one another.

Despite the backlash, Patrick Mahomes said he is a “good person.” GEHA

Travis Kelce also called Butker “great” but confirmed he does not agree with most of his beliefs. New Heights/Youtube

“I’ve known Harrison for seven years, and I judge him by the character that he shows every single day, and that’s a good person,” Mahomes, 28, said Wednesday after a team practice.

“That’s someone who cares about the people around him, cares about his family and wants to make a good impact in society.”

Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce also called Butker a “great person” but confirmed he did not agree with “just about any of it besides him loving his family and his kids.”

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