NFL distances itself from controversial commencement speech

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The NFL has formally distanced itself from controversial comments Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made over the weekend during a commencement speech at Benedictine College.

‘Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,’ senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said Wednesday night. ‘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.’

Butker, 28, has played seven seasons in the NFL, all with the Chiefs. During the 20-minute speech, he expressed sexist and anti-LGBTQIA+ opinions, alluding to ‘dangerous gender ideologies’ centered around Pride Month, the celebration of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender pride.

‘Not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it,’ Butker said Saturday, ‘but the true God-centered pride that is cooperating with the holy ghost to glorify him.’

Butker also expressed his belief that women should prioritize their ‘vocation’ as mothers, wives and homemakers.

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‘I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,’ Butker said during the speech. ‘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.’

He also criticized, though not by name, President Joe Biden for his stance on abortion and criticized the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

‘While COVID might have played a large role throughout your formative years, it is not unique,’ Butker said. ‘The bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for the degenerate cultural values and media all stem from pervasiveness of disorder.’

Benedictine College is a Catholic private liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, which is about 50 miles northwest from Kansas City, Missouri, where the Chiefs are headquartered.

Butker is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Chiefs and holds records for the longest field goal in a Super Bowl (57 yards) and career field goals in the Super Bowl (nine).

This post appeared first on USA TODAY