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16th May 2024

NFL player faces scrutiny for misogynistic graduation speech

Niamh Ryan

Harrison Butker, the kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs has come under fire for his sexist and highly controversial commencement speech at a college graduation.

In his address to the students of Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal school in Kansas, he focused his attention on the women in the room:

“How many of you are sitting here now, about to cross this stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? 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.”

Butker continued, and referenced his wife, saying how her life truly began when she married and had children as she was “living her vocation as a wife”.

Backlash from the internet

People didn’t waste time in pointing out the controversies and the level of entitlement he displayed, drawing comparisons to how NFL players in the past have faced extreme backlash for speaking out against racism and police brutality.

On user online said that the speech was “abhorrent and sounds like something from the 1950s.”

He also spoke out against abortion and Pride Month, and a whole range of other topics he felt to be posing threats to America, describing them as the “tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion”.

One step forward, two steps back

After months of young women and girls having a growing interest in the NFL because of Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, this development is truly disappointing and unacceptable.

Young NFL fans at Chiefs game. Source: The Boston Globe

How would it feel after four years of dedication and hard work to be told during your graduation that you wasted your time, and all you’ll ever be good for is making babies. This outdated rhetoric is getting seriously tiresome, and unbelievable that it can happen in 2024.