Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has no regrets about expressing his beliefs during recent commencement speech

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has no regrets about expressing his beliefs in a recent commencement speech, and he said he has received support as well as “a shocking level of hate” from others.

Butker spoke Friday night at the Regina Caeli Academy Courage Under Fire Gala in Nashville, Tennessee.

He made his first public comments since his controversial recent commencement speech at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, where he said most women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having kids; argued some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America;” referred to a “deadly sin sort of pride that has a month dedicated to it” in an oblique reference to Pride month; and took aim at President Joe Biden’s policies, including his condemnation of the Supreme Court’s reversal of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.

“It is now, over the past few days, my beliefs or what people think I believe have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe,” Butker said Friday. “At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

Butker said he understands being criticized for his performance on the field. The 28-year-old said he values his religion more than football.

“It’s a decision I’ve consciously made and one I do not regret at all,” he said.

The NFL has distanced itself from Butker’s comments. The league said the comments and “views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes said the three-time Super Bowl winner is entitled to his beliefs, even though he doesn’t always agree with him.

Speaking about Butker on his “New Heights” podcast, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he cherishes Butker as a teammate.

LZ Granderson reacts to Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s commencement speech

LZ Granderson reacts to Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's commencement speech

“When it comes down to his views and what he said at [the] commencement speech, those are his,” Kelce said. “I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. And I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that’s just not who I am.”

Kelce does the podcast with his brother Jason, who recently retired after an outstanding career with the Philadelphia Eagles.

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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