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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker delivered a controversial graduation speech at Benedictine College, where he made comments about gender roles and the LGBTQIA+ community. He specifically addressed the women graduates, emphasizing their accomplishments while also suggesting that they may prioritize marriage and motherhood. Butker praised his wife for her role as a homemaker and criticized Pride month, advocating for a God-centered pride instead.

The backlash against Butker’s speech was swift, with celebrities like Maren Morris, Flavor Flav, and Justice Horn speaking out against his remarks. Horn, a former Kansas City commissioner and LGBTQ advocate, criticized Butker for his views on masculinity and his opinion on the LGBTQ+ community. Gun violence prevention activist Shannon Watts also criticized Butker for overlooking the issue of gun violence during his speech.

Despite the criticism, some individuals defended Butker’s right to express his beliefs. NFL’s Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Jonathan Beane clarified that Butker was speaking in his personal capacity and his views do not represent those of the NFL. Whoopi Goldberg defended Butker, comparing his freedom to express his beliefs to Colin Kaepernick’s protests. Maria Shriver highlighted the importance of women having choices outside of traditional roles and emphasized the need for respect for diverse beliefs.

Other celebrities, such as Robert Griffin III, Eddie Vedder, and Patricia Heaton, also weighed in on Butker’s speech. Griffin emphasized the importance of women having the freedom to choose their paths, while Vedder mocked Butker’s remarks during a concert. Heaton urged people to calm down and respect Butker’s right to express his opinions, pointing out that the audience at the graduation ceremony had supported him. The controversy surrounding Butker’s speech sparked a broader discussion about gender roles, LGBTQ+ rights, and freedom of speech.

Overall, the reactions to Harrison Butker’s graduation speech highlighted the ongoing debates surrounding gender roles, women’s rights, and LGBTQ+ inclusion. While some defended Butker’s right to express his beliefs, others criticized his comments for being outdated and insensitive. The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of promoting inclusivity, respect, and understanding in all forms of public discourse.

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