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Massive Petition Seeks to Fire Harrison Butker Over Graduation Speech, but Some Hail Him as A Hero

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Kansas City Chiefs star kicker Harrison Butker’s now-viral Benedictine College commencement speech has ignited both furor and excitement, with detractors and supporters igniting social media.

A petition demanding the Super Bowl champ’s dismissal from the team is inching toward its goal of achieving 200,000 signatures, while supporters are fervently bolstering his message and hailing him a hero of sorts.

First, let’s start with the shocking effort to see Butker booted from the Chiefs.

“The harmful remarks made by Harrison Butker … were unacceptable,” the petition in question reads. “His comments were sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist.”

The text continues, “These dehumanizing remarks against LGBTQ+ individuals, attacks on abortion rights, and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights.”

The petition, which has garnered over 176,000 signatures thus far, went on to claim Butker’s comments have reinforced “harmful stereotypes that threaten social progress,” and “create a toxic environment that hinders our collective efforts towards equality, diversity and inclusion in society.”

As CBN News previously reported, Butker held little back Saturday when he delivered the commencement address at the center of so much consternation.

Butker accused President Joe Biden of vocally supporting the “murder” of the unborn, and also lamented “dangerous gender ideologies,” among other issues. He also highlighted the disparity he sees between Biden’s stated Catholic faith and his pro-choice proclivities.

“Bad policies and poor leadership have negatively impacted major life issues,” Butker said. “Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values in media all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

Watch the speech in its entirety:

And he wasn’t done there, making it clear he believes the commander-in-chief’s comments and actions violate the Catholic faith.

“Our own nation is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally,” Butker said, referring to a recent rally where Biden went viral for doing that very thing.

He continued, “He has been so vocal in his support for the murder of innocent babies that I’m sure, to many people, it appears that you can be both Catholic and pro-choice.”

Other comments also seemed to rile his biggest critics, particularly statements directed toward female graduates.

“For the ladies present today: congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” Butker said. “You should
be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives.”

He continued:

“I want to speak directly to you, briefly, because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? 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 began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I’m on this stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.”

These were just some of the statements, among others, that ignited both controversy and support. Among the mixed responsem the petition seems to be getting the most attention.

Text on the petition charges comments like Butker’s can contribute to hate crimes and increased mental health problems among “targeted communities.” Those behind the petition demand “accountability” from role models like Butker.

“We call upon the Kansas City Chiefs management to dismiss Harrison Butker immediately for his inappropriate conduct,” the text reads, encouraging people to stand up against “discrimination.”

Chaos over the commencement speech reached such a fever pitch this week that the National Football League (NFL) issued a statement separating itself from Butker’s sentiments.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a statement. “His views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Beane continued, “The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

But while Butker’s comments have sparked a massive petition and frustrations among some, others, like legendary coach Lou Holtz, are defending — and even praising him.

“Thank you … for standing strong in your faith values,” Hiltz wrote in a message to Butker. “Your commencement speech at Benedictine College showed courage and conviction and I admire that. Don’t give in.”

The legendary coach also shared a link to a separate website where fans can express appreciation and thanks to Butker for sharing his perspective.

“With courage and clarity, Butker championed the timeless virtues of family, faith, and the sanctity of life,” the proclamation reads. “His bold proclamation of a pro-family, pro-God, and pro-life worldview resonated deeply, reminding us of the enduring strength found in our foundational beliefs.”

See that statement here.

Here are some of the other responses from those who agreed with Butker’s comments:


Gracie Hunt, daughter of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, defended Butker in a Fox News interview on Friday, saying she respects the player for “his Christian faith and what he’s accomplished on and off the field.”

“I can only speak from my own experience, which is I had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up,” Hunt said. “And I understand that there are many women out there who can’t make that decision but for me in my life, I know it was really formative in my shaping me and my siblings to be who we are.”

We’ll continue to cover the story as it unfolds.

***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***

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About The Author

Billy Hallowell writes for CBN's He has been working in journalism and media for more than a decade. His writings have appeared in CBN News, Faithwire, Deseret News, TheBlaze, Human Events, Mediaite, PureFlix, and Fox News, among other outlets. He is the author of several books, including Playing with Fire: A Modern Investigation Into Demons, Exorcism, and Ghosts Hallowell has a B.A. in journalism and broadcasting from the College of Mount Saint Vincent in Riverdale, New York and an M.S. in social research from Hunter College in Manhattan, New York.