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My Thoughts About Harrison Butker's Commencement Speech

Chiefs' Kicker in hot water after latest controversy

By Mark Wesley PritchardPublished about a month ago 4 min read

Graduation season is in full bloom. To those who have or about to graduate and start the next chapter in life, I hope you have a long and successful life and career. Your hard work has paid off in an enormous way. Go out there and pursue your dreams and never let anyone or anything stand in your way of excellence. Set your own expectations rather than living up to the ones your parents set for you. So here's to you, Class of 2024!

In case you don't know anything about me, football is one of the sports that I love to watch. The topic that's drawing so much displeasure and backlash is the latest comments from Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker. Recently, he gave a commencement speech at Benedictine College, a conservative liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas. The three-time Super Bowl champion, 28, spoke on a range of topics, from Pride Month to the roles of women at home. The speech, which ran for 20 minutes, drew the ire of celebrities, female reporters, and people online. While many praised Butker for standing up for his religious beliefs, the majority of people called his speech bigoted and misogynistic. The NFL has condemned Butker's remarks and stated that his views don't reflect the values of the league and is steadfast committed to inclusion. The Kansas City Chiefs, nor Benedictine College, have yet to comment on the matter. If he has sponsors, I hope they take immediate action and cut ties with him. Whether or not the Chiefs will keep him on the team is unknown. While he has a right to free speech just like everyone else, it doesn't absolve him from the consequences or personal responsibility.

My Takes on Harrison's Commencement Speech

While I do believe that everyone has the right to their own beliefs, I felt like it wasn't the time or place for him to spew his personal and political beliefs. This wasn't a political rally. It was a commencement ceremony and his speech should've focused solely on the graduates and giving them words of wisdom, not going on petty grievances. It takes the attention away from the graduates and their accomplishments. It's supposed to be a special moment with their loved ones in attendance. My mouth dropped and was clutching my invisible pearls thinking, "Is this guy for real?" I was furious and appalled by Harrison's remarks.

On to the subject of women: What I found funny was that his mother is a physicist. So pot meet kettle, Harrison. I couldn't stomach to watch the rest of the speech, because he was full of hypocrisy and so condescending. I have news for you, Harrison. Not every woman wants to get married or have kids and both are valid reasons. You're married, but have the audacity of criticizing other women. You're perpetuating outdated stereotypes of women, which means you're not keeping up with the times. Women are able to wear many hats in life, including having successful careers. Marriage and/or children aren't priorities for them and that's fine. It's not the end all, be all of happiness. Finally, keep Taylor Swift's name out of your mouth. While I'm not a Swiftie per se, I do love her music and have since high school. Most of her songs talk about female empowerment, which you'd probably take an issue with that. Women can do whatever they damn please. If you're so happy with your life, then why worry about other people? Stay in your own lane and mind your own business.

The attack of LGBTQ+ people:

Pride Month is two weeks away and as someone who is part of this community, calling it a sin is not only hateful, but it also pushes this false narrative that LGBTQ+ people are the ones others should be afraid of. Next June is the 10th anniversary of marriage equality becoming legal in the United States. People like me have been tirelessly fighting to have the same equal rights and accommodations as everyone else. In 2024, we still are because of the continuous bigotry and discrimination we face daily. We do exist and aren't going away anytime soon. Harrison, you have the right to believe in whatever you want. However, you using your Catholic faith to disparage and dehumanize someone's sexual orientation and experiences is what I have more of an issue with.

Growing up, I used to attend church with my family almost every Sunday. As an adult, I still attended until I came out as gay in early 2012. After moving to a new area post graduation, I was seeking a church that was gay friendly, but with no luck. It took me almost a couple more years for me to officially stop going to church, because of the constant hatred of LGBTQ+ people being regurgitated. The second reason why I left religion behind was the hypocrisy of some, not all, Christians. I have a relative who knows that I'm gay and she's religious. She's probably the only one that accepts me for who I am and doesn't care. While I've lost many people, including friends, who distanced themselves from me because of my sexuality, others stood by me. Now, I have some friends and followers who embraced me and still do with open arms. I don't regret leaving religion behind because I've learned to love and embrace the real me. You either love or dislike me and that's fine. I have no issues with people having religious views, just so we're clear. My message to you is that you treat others different from you with dignity and respect. It's not your job or obligation to change them, but it's important to show a bit of compassion.

I have a few more things to say to you, Harrison. Live your best life and stop looking for problems in everything when they aren't any. If something doesn't apply to you, please move on. As I've stated earlier, there's nothing wrong with being religious. It's the devaluing of other people and their experiences, as well as not seeing things from other people's perspective, is what I have more of an issue with. I'll say this again to you one last time, Harrison: stay in your lane. Also, mind your own business and leave people alone.


About the Creator

Mark Wesley Pritchard

Award-winning cosplayer, cosplay model, influencer, retro gaming fanatic, die-hard Texas Rangers fan, and nostalgic freak. Need I say more?

Threads: @thecosplayerfromtexas

Instagram: @thecosplayerfromtexas

TikTok: @thecosplayerfromtexas

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    Mark Wesley PritchardWritten by Mark Wesley Pritchard

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