Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Super Bowl LVII
(Cooper Neill, Getty Images)

NFL Issues Predictably Tame Response to Harrison Butker’s Offensive Commencement Speech

It's more surprising that the NFL bothered saying anything at all.

The NFL has finally issued a statement in response to offensive comments made by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker during a commencement speech at Benedictine College.

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In a statement shared with The Hollywood Reporter, NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said:

Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. 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.

That nothing-burger of a response isn’t surprising; it’s honestly more surprising that the NFL bothered to issue a statement at all. This is the same organization that allows domestic abusers to continue playing professionally with little or no consequences. The NFL has done more to address CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a condition caused by repeated brain injuries that’s common among NFL players) than the ongoing problem of domestic violence among its players.

In a speech that went viral on social media, Harrison Butker told female graduates not to believe the “diabolical lies told to women,” and urged them to stay in their lane and pursue vocations as “homemakers.” Butker told the men in the class to “be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men.” He went on to condemn “dangerous gender ideologies,” abortion, and IVF, in addition to making homophobic remarks. It’s not the first time that Butker has attracted backlash for his misogynistic and bigoted views: the kicker has a history of advocating against reproductive rights and appeared in an ad to support restrictions to abortion access in Kansas.


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Author
Britt Hayes
Britt Hayes (she/her) is an editor, writer, and recovering film critic with over a decade of experience. She has written for The A.V. Club, Birth.Movies.Death, and The Austin Chronicle, and is the former associate editor for ScreenCrush. Britt's work has also been published in Fangoria, TV Guide, and SXSWorld Magazine. She loves film, horror, exhaustively analyzing a theme, and casually dissociating. Her brain is a cursed tomb of pop culture knowledge.