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Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s speech was ugly. He’s only part of a bigger problem.

In World
May 15, 2024

A question: Are the Kansas City Chiefs OK with one of their players, kicker Harrison Butker, saying women belong as homemakers?

The team has several women executive vice presidents who have careers outside of the kitchen. What do they think of this? The team has celebrated Women’s History Month, not Woman You Better Get My Dinner on the Table Month.

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” Butker said at a recent college commencement. “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.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker talks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII.

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker talks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and a mother,” Butker added. “I’m on this stage, and able to be the man I am, because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.”

Her vocation? Really? Did I slip and fall into a time machine and travel back to the 1950s?

“I’m beyond blessed with the many talents god has given me,” he said, “but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife, and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

The team thus far has been silent about Butker’s comments which don’t stop with his antiquated views of a woman’s role in society. He also went on an anti-LGBTQ rant.

Speaking of Pride month, Butker said: “Not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it, but the true God-centered pride that is cooperating with the holy ghost to glorify him.”

The organization did not respond to an email request for comment.

But former Kansas City commissioner Justice Horn did respond to Butker. He wrote in a post on X, formerly Twitter: “Harrison Butker doesn’t represent Kansas City nor has he ever. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms, and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members.”

Before all of you Constitutional scholars chime in from your grammy’s basement, I’m aware Butker can say whatever he wants, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us should stay silent.

On social media, one of the prevailing sentiments was that Butker was just an idiot kicker and didn’t matter. That’s false. Not the part about him being an idiot. That’s true. The part about him not mattering.

He’s a key part of a Super Bowl champion team. He plays in the most popular sport in the country. His words will carry and while they have the waft of Archie Bunker’s couch, they shouldn’t be ignored. We should take every opportunity to push back against this type of extremist, Neanderthalic view of the world.

(It’s also interesting to see right-wing and white nationalist platforms that usually tell athletes of color to shut up and dribble championing Butker’s remarks. Maybe interesting isn’t the word for it.)

Read more KC Chiefs news: Harrison Butker strikes against Pride Month, lauds wife’s role as ‘homemaker’

Butker represents a segment of the population that wants to go backwards, particularly with women’s rights. These people are getting bolder and more hateful.

The goal is to wrench power from a society that has become more pluralistic and diverse, and put it back into the hands of a small group of men. And I can tell you, in their universe, they aren’t talking about men of color having all this power.

Butker gives the entire game away with this part of his speech.

“To the gentlemen here today, part of what plagues society is this lie that has been told to you that men are not necessary in the home or in our communities,’ Butker said. “As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos set in. This absence of men in the home is what plays a large role in the violence we see all around the nation.

“Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fight against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy.”

There is no emasculation of men. It’s not happening. It has never happened. It’s a totally fabricated thing.

Again, none of this has to do with the loss of rights. No one is being emasculated. Men aren’t losing power. Women don’t need to stay in the kitchen. Unless they want to.

There are people like Butker who want to take America back in time. Not the majority. But enough.

And that’s scary.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Harrison Butker commencement speech represents an ugly fringe

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