Harrison Butker at the Super Bowl LVII on Opening Night and Susi Leisegang in a TikTok video
(Robin Alam / ISI Photo / Getty / @susie.leisegang / TikTok)

Female Benedictine College Graduate Speaks Out After Harrison Butker’s Horrific Speech

A female Benedictine College graduate is speaking out about what it was like to sit through Harrison Butker’s bigoted commencement speech, confirming it was “f*****g horrible.”

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Butker, a kicker for the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, was invited to give a commencement speech to Benedictine College’s class of 2024. However, instead of trying to inspire and celebrate the graduates, he decided to use the opportunity to solely express his hateful views. In the course of a 20-minute speech, he called the Catholic Church clergy “cowards” for adhering to COVID-19 protocols, attacked the LGBTQ+ community, shamed women for using birth control or living with their partners before marriage, and lectured women that they needed to stay in their lanes and follow their “vocation” to be homemakers because their lives don’t start until they get married and have children.

The speech quickly went viral for how horrific it was, although the NFL and Kansas City Chiefs have remained silent on the issue. Butker has expressed his hateful views before, but few could get past the sheer cruelty of telling women at their college graduation ceremony that their achievements are essentially meaningless unless they get married and have children. To add to the cruelty, Butker himself acknowledged that many of those graduates graduated high school in 2020 and likely never had a commencement ceremony due to COVID-19 protocols. So, after potentially missing out on their high school ceremony, many female graduates also had their college commencement ceremony ruined by Butker.

One female graduate has confirmed that the Chiefs’ player put a damper on what should’ve been a very special day.

Graduate reveals what it was like to listen to Harrison Butker’s speech

At least one female Benedictine College graduate has come forward to express her thoughts on Butker’s speech. It is important to note that Benedictine is a conservative Catholic college. So, for many women, the views expressed by Butker likely weren’t very surprising. Additionally, some may be hesitant to speak out for fear of being harassed or attacked, given that @susie.leisegang confirmed the nauseating speech received a standing ovation and cheers from the male students.

In a TikTok video, Leisegang says she was present during Butker’s speech and, after receiving numerous requests, decided to recount her experience. Understandably, she described the experience as “f*****g horrible.” Some students, including herself and her friends, “booed” at Butker, but given the college’s conservative environment, the speech earned a largely positive response. About 10–15 women did not join in the standing ovation, and many of them exchanged horrified glances throughout the speech.

Leisegang believes most of the women were thinking, “What the f**k is going on? Like, did he just come here to speak about politics and his views on women? That’s all you got? For a graduation commencement speech? Are you kidding?” She concluded that the experience was “definitely horrible.” She stated, “It definitely made graduation feel a little less special, knowing I had to sit through that and get told I’m nothing but a homemaker.”

Her video is heartbreaking, as one can only imagine how awful it would feel to have some man who kicks a football suddenly decide he has the authority to speak down to you and define your worth at a ceremony where you’re supposed to be celebrated. However, Leisegang does have the satisfaction of not living her life the way Butker thinks she should. She successfully graduated with a Bachelor’s in Graphic Design and already has a job lined up at a magazine. She confirmed that being a wife and mother are not her priorities at age 21. Instead, she will do what works best for her at this time, as every woman should be able to do without being shamed.

Additionally, Leisegang revealed that countless strangers on the internet did the one simple task Butker was bizarrely unable to do, congratulating her on her outstanding achievement. Unfortunately, many MAGA supporters and incels have also made their way over to her video. Countless hateful comments have arisen accusing her of lying, stating that she just shouldn’t have gone to Benedictine College, or celebrating the crowd that gave Butker a standing ovation. These comments reiterate why speeches like Butker’s are so harmful, as they often ignite further waves of misogyny and embolden others to speak or act on their own hatred of women.

Additionally, the revelation that these women, after being shamed and attacked on the day of their college graduation, had to sit through a standing ovation is scary. It was already frightening that a man felt perfectly comfortable walking on stage and publicly showcasing his misogyny at a graduation ceremony, but it’s even scarier to realize just how many men are so hateful that they’re finding joy in the fact that a bunch of promising young woman were needlessly robbed of their special day.

Hopefully, Leisegang’s TikTok will inspire empathy from some viewers and encourage the internet to congratulate her and all of Benedictine College’s female graduates because, regardless of what some bigoted football player thinks, their achievements do matter. They are meant to graduate college, have whatever careers they desire, and inspire other women to live their lives outside their preordained lanes and supposed vocations.


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.