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Chiefs' Travis Kelce: 'Can't Say I Agree' with Harrison Butker's Commencement Speech

Mike Chiari

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce praised kicker Harrison Butker as a person and teammate Friday, but noted that he is not aligned with the beliefs Butker expressed in a recent speech.

Speaking on Wave Sports + Entertainment's New Heights podcast (beginning at the 24:55 mark), Kelce said the following about his stance on Butker's comments (h/t Drew Weisholtz of NBC News):

"I cherish him as a teammate. I think [Chiefs quarterback] Pat [Mahomes] said it best where he is every bit of a great person and a great teammate.

"He's treated family and family that I've introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness. And that's how he treats everyone. When it comes down to his views and what he said at Saint Benedict's 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."

Two weeks ago, Butker gave a commencement speech at Benedictine College in which he expressed views on a number of topics that drew the ire of many:

Per Today's Amy Eley and Samantha Kubota, Butker appealed to the female graduates of Benedictine College and encouraged them to make starting a family their top priority, saying his wife's life "really started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother."

Additionally, Butker took aim at the LGBTQ+ community by calling Pride Month a "deadly sin sort of pride," plus he seemed to denounce birth control and fertility treatments, saying "there is nothing good about playing God with having children."

Kelce is the second high-profile teammate of Butker to give his take on the kicker's speech in the past few days.

According to ESPN's Courtney Cronin, Mahomes gave a take similar to Kelce's on the matter, supporting Butker personally while also distancing himself from the rhetoric Butker discussed in his speech:

"There's certain things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with, but I understand the person that he is, and he is trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction. And that might not be the same values as I have. But at the same time, I'm going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day. That's a great person, and we'll continue to move along and try to help build each other up to make ourselves better every single day.

"But at the end of the day, we're going to come together as a team, and I think that'll help out as eliminating those distractions outside of the building, as well."

The NFL as a whole made it clear that Butker's views don't reflect those of the league, as NFL Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Jonathan Beane released a statement, saying: "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."

Butker, 28, has been teammates with both Kelce and Mahomes ever since entering the NFL in 2017.

The trio has won three Super Bowls together, including each of the past two, and the Chiefs figure to once again be among the top championship contenders in the league in 2024.

   

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