June 15, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has spoken out, stating his goal is to ‘please’ Jesus Christ amid backlash from his speech at Benedictine College’s graduation ceremony.

Earlier in May, Butker made headlines with a passionate anti-abortion address, criticizing President Joe Biden for perceived contradictions on LGBTQ issues and abortion. As a devout Catholic, Butker faced mixed reactions for suggesting that women should embrace being ‘homemakers’, a stance the NFL has since distanced itself from.

Butker returned to the spotlight on Friday evening at the ‘Courage Under Fire Gala’ in Nashville, where he received thunderous applause. He reiterated the importance of his controversial remarks despite the criticism.

Harrison Butker stands by commencement speech: 'Not people, but Jesus  Christ I'm trying to please' | Fox News

His Statement while Speaking at the gala

“The theme for tonight’s gala, Courage Under Fire, was decided many months ago, but it now feels providential that this would be the theme after what we have all witnessed these last two weeks. If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now.

“Our love for Jesus, and thus, our desire to speak out, should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world. Glorifying God and not ourselves should always remain our motivation despite any pushback, or even support. I lean on those closest to me for guidance, but I can never forget that it is not people, but Jesus Christ who I’m trying to please.”

Butker then appeared to compare himself to a ‘saint’, adding: “If I constantly remind myself of the hardships the saints went through, especially the martyrs in their persecution, it makes it all seem not so bad. For if Heaven is our goal, we should embrace our cross, however large or small it may be, and live our life with joy to be a bold witness to Christ”.

No city apology to Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker on viral tweet | Kansas  City Star

Ever since Butker’s explosive speech criticizing the ‘tyranny’ of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, his jersey has become the top seller on NFL Shop. The media is divided over his remarks, but teammates Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes, along with Chiefs coach Andy Reid, have shown support, although Kelce clarified that he doesn’t share Butker’s views.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell emphasized the league’s commitment to inclusivity, stating, “Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. 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 has cemented his legendary status with the Chiefs, making the decisive field goal in the 2023 AFC Championship Game against the Bengals and kicking four field goals, including a record-breaking 57-yarder, in their thrilling Super Bowl win over the 49ers in February.

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