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After NFL Denounces Butker’s Conservative Comments, Commissioner Goodell Defends Chiefs Kicker

On the heels of a championship season with the Kansas City Chiefs, kicker Harrison Butker sparked controversy recently when he expressed traditional values during a commencement address at a Catholic university’s graduation ceremony.

While he received significant support from fans and fellow Christians, his remarks were rebuked by many others, including the NFL.

As the Associated Press reported:

The NFL is distancing itself from Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker, saying “his views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Butker appeared as the commencement speaker last week at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Kansas, and said most of the women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having children.

Butker also said some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.”

“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 released Thursday. “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.”

The three-time Super Bowl champion delivered his roughly 20-minute address Saturday at the school in Atchison, Kansas, which is located about 60 miles (97 kilometers) miles north of Kansas City. He received a standing ovation from graduates and other attendees.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, however, offered a much more accepting response to Butker’s remarks following an outpouring of support on social media:

Here’s what Goodell said, per Fox News:

“We have over 3,000 players. … They have a diversity of opinions & thoughts just like America does. I think that’s something that we treasure & that’s part of ultimately what makes us as a society better,” Goodell said on Wednesday, via Yahoo Sports.

Goodell’s comments echoed the sentiments of Butker’s quarterback and coach, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

“What makes the locker room so cool is you’re able to have those discussions and become better and make those decisions for yourself,” Mahomes, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, told reporters Wednesday. “Even though there’s vast differences as far as those speeches happening at the same time, you get to talk to guys and get knowledge, and you make your own decisions at the end of the day.

Goodell’s full remarks are in the video below:


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