Why is Harrison Butker getting 'canceled'? Exploring reasons for backlash on Chiefs kicker after viral commencement speech

Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night
Why is Harrison Butker getting 'canceled'? Exploring reasons for backlash on Chief kicker after viral commencement speech

Harrison Butker went viral recently for his commencement speech at Benedictine College, for all the wrong reasons. After several of his comments caught the world's attention, many have called for some sort of punishment or "cancelation" for the Kansas City Chiefs kicker. That's unlikely to happen, but he is firmly in the crosshairs of the world after what he said was deemed to be insensitive to several people and groups.


Why Harrison Butker is under fire right now

He belittled women

Harrison Butker took the chance, during his now viral commencement speech, to speak directly to the women who had just spent years earning their degrees. They'd just been in school for possibly four years striving toward something they had been looking at their whole life, and many alleged Butker had demeaned it.

He said it's his belief that many of the women in the crowd were more happy to be getting married and having children than to be advancing their careers and getting good job opportunities.

"I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you," Butker said. "Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world."

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker also said that his wife's life didn't begin until she married him and became a Butker. Fans interpreted this as him implying that women are aimless and purposeless until they can find a man to give them babies to raise and a house to clean/work in.


He misrepresented Taylor Swift

Another major reason Harrison Butker is under fire right now is his use of Taylor Swift lyrics. Fans think he not only misrepresented what the lyrics he quoted were all about, but they also allege he belittled her at the same moment.

Butker began by referring to the pop megastar as "my teammate's girlfriend." He was attempting to be humorous, but it fell short when talking about perhaps the most famous person on the entire earth—someone decidedly more famous than Butker's teammate.

Harrison Butker called out Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce
Harrison Butker called out Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce

Butker quoted Swift's song "Bejeweled," saying he loves the saying "familiarity breeds contempt." However, quoting a song about a woman losing her allure and working to be "shiny" again (i.e., bejeweled) in the same speech where he says women should be happier to bear children than do anything professionally is considered by many to be tone-deaf.

Moreover, Swift is 34 and has never been married. She doesn't have kids, either. By Butker's own logic, the billionaire, Grammy-winning artist's life hasn't begun, and she doesn't have much of a purpose.


Harrison Butker mentioned Pride Month

While the speech did happen at a Catholic school, Harrison Butker did spark some backlash with his comments over hot topics, including homosexuality. He called it a "deadly sin," which is always going to prompt some unhappiness.

Butker also said diversity, equity and inclusion were bad things (via CNN):

“The world around us says that we should keep our beliefs to ourselves whenever they go against the tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion.”

DEI initiatives exist to help balance the workforce with more representation. It allows opportunities for marginalized communities they haven't historically had.

Butker touched on a lot of subjects, boldly stating his opinion and making it known to essentially the entire world. That has prompted a lot of backlash, and the NFL even responded by saying that the three-time Super Bowl champion is his own person and does not reflect the views of the league.

Quick Links

Edited by R. Elahi
App download animated image Get the free App now