Travis Kelce on Harrison Butker’s speech: ‘I don’t think that I should judge him by his views’


Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce said he doesn’t agree with “the majority” of Harrison Butker’s recent commencement speech but said he won’t judge the place kicker by his views.

“He’s treated friends and family that I’ve introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness,” Kelce said of Butker on Friday’s episode of his “New Heights” podcast. “And that’s how he treats everyone. When it comes down to his views and what he said (in his) commencement speech, those are his.

“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 also commended Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes’ take on Butker’s controversial commencement speech, where Mahomes said he judges Butker by his character.

“I’ve known (Butker) for seven years,” Mahomes told reporters Wednesday. “I judge him by the character he shows every day and that’s a good person. … We’re not always going to agree. He said certain things I don’t agree with.”

During his commencement speech at Benedictine College, Butker referred to Pride Month as an example of the “deadly sins.” He also addressed gender ideologies and said a woman’s most important title is “homemaker.”

“It is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” Butker said during his speech to graduates earlier this month. “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.”

Kelce pointed out that both his mother and father, Donna and Ed Kelce, were “homemakers and providers” during his childhood.

“They were unbelievable at being present every single day of my life,” Kelce said. “That was a beautiful upbringing for me. … I’m not the same person without both of them being who they were in my life.”

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Although Butker referenced a Taylor Swift lyric in his speech, Kelce, Swift’s boyfriend, did not address it.

“As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt,’” Butker said, referencing Swift’s song, “Bejeweled,” during the speech.

Butker also used the speech to criticize President Joe Biden on several issues, including abortion and the COVID-19 pandemic, and questioned Biden’s devotion to Catholicism.

Despite Butker’s comments on Biden, Chiefs coach Andy Reid said Wednesday that he believes Butker will go with the team to the White House on May 31 to celebrate its 2024 Super Bowl victory.

“I didn’t think I need to (address it). We’re a microcosm of life,” Reid said when asked about Butker’s comments. “We all respect each other’s opinions. We all have a voice.”

A few days after Butker delivered his speech, the NFL released a statement distancing itself from his comments and said Butker’s views are not the same as the league as an organization.

When asked about Butker’s speech at the league meetings in Nashville on Wednesday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league has a “diversity of opinions and thoughts.”

Kelce echoed a similar sentiment when discussing how teammates don’t always share the same views but can work together: “You put your differences aside for one goal in common, and that’s the beauty of team sports. That’s the beauty of the NFL.”

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(Photo of Harrison Butker (left) and Travis Kelce (right): Arne Dedert / picture alliance via Getty Images)



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