Sports

Chiefs kicker Butker congratulates graduating women, but says most are more excited about motherhood

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — (AP) — Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is getting attention for comments he made during a commencement address at Benedictine College last weekend in which he congratulated the women receiving degrees, but then said most were probably more excited to get married and have children.

The three-time Super Bowl champion also railed against President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion and his leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as Catholic leaders he said were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.”

Butker delivered his roughly 20-minute address Saturday at the Catholic private liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, which is located about 60 miles north of Kansas City.

Butker, who has made his conservative Catholic beliefs well known, also criticized an article by The Associated Press highlighting a shift toward conservativism in some parts of the Catholic Church.

The 28-year-old Butker took aim at Biden's policies, including his response to COVID-19, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S., 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,” he said. “Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues. Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media all stem from pervasiveness of disorder.”

Butker later addressed the women in the audience, saying that his wife embraced "one of the most important titles of all. Homemaker.“

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you," Butker said. “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. I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

The Chiefs declined to comment on Butker's commencement address.

The 2017 seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech has become of the NFL's best kickers, breaking the Chiefs' franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2022. Butker helped them win their first Super Bowl in 50 years in 2020, added a second Lombardi Trophy in 2023, and he kicked the field goal that forced overtime in a Super Bowl win over San Francisco in February.

It has been an embarrassing offseason for the Chiefs, though.

Last month, voters in Jackson County, Missouri, soundly rejected a ballot initiative that would have helped pay for a downtown ballpark for the Royals and an $800 million renovation to Arrowhead Stadium, the home of the Chiefs. Many voters criticized the plan put forward by the Chiefs as catering primarily to VIPs and the wealthy.

The same week, wide receiver Rashee Rice turned himself in to Dallas police on multiple charges, including aggravated assault, after he was involved in a high-speed crash that left four people with injuries. Rice has acknowledged being the driver of one of the sports cars that was going in excess of 100 mph, and video shows him leaving the scene without providing information or determining whether anyone needed medical attention.

Last week, law enforcement officials told The Dallas Morning News that Rice also was suspected of assaulting a person at a downtown nightclub; Dallas police did not name Rice as the suspect in detailing a report to The Associated Press.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he had spoken to the receiver and the team was letting the legal process play out.

___

AP NFL: https://apnews.com/hub/nfl