The Internet Roasts Harrison Butker’s Graduation Speech As Sexist After People Learn What His Mom’s Career Is

The Internet Roasts Harrison Butker’s Graduation Speech As Sexist After People Learn What His Mom’s Career Is
YouTube/Benedictine College

Harrison Butker, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker, has faced significant backlash following a graduation speech he delivered at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. During his 20-minute address on May 11, Butker, a devout Catholic, made controversial remarks that many have deemed sexist. His comments were particularly directed at female graduates, whom he told had been fed “diabolical lies” about their roles and aspirations.

In his speech, Butker suggested that while some women might pursue successful careers, the majority would find their true fulfillment in marriage and motherhood. He praised his wife, Isabelle, stating that her life truly began when she embraced her role as a homemaker, calling it one of the most important titles. Butker further criticized what he termed “degenerate cultural values,” “dangerous gender ideologies,” and the “tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” He also took a swipe at President Joe Biden, questioning his support for abortion rights despite his Catholic faith.

These remarks sparked widespread outrage, with many accusing Butker of misogyny. Social media users expressed their disdain, with one calling him a “disgusting human being” for implying that women’s education and career ambitions were less valuable than homemaking. Another criticized him for delivering such a message at a women’s college graduation, calling it “misogynistic” and “homophobic.”

The controversy deepened when it was revealed that Butker’s own mother, Elizabeth Keller Butker, has had a distinguished career in science. She has worked at Emory University’s Department of Radiation Oncology since 1988, following in the footsteps of her father, who was a prominent figure in medical oncology. This revelation led to further criticism, with some pointing out the irony of Butker’s views given his mother’s accomplishments.

In response to the uproar, Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, clarified that Butker’s views were his own and not reflective of the NFL. Beane reiterated the NFL’s commitment to inclusion and diversity, distancing the organization from Butker’s comments.

Butker’s speech has ignited a broader discussion about gender roles and the expectations placed on women in contemporary society. The backlash underscores the ongoing tensions surrounding these issues and the importance of respecting diverse paths and choices for all individuals.