Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker’s Merchandise a Best-Seller Despite Backlash Over ‘Homemaker’ Speech

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By NTD Newsroom
May 20, 2024US News
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Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker’s Merchandise a Best-Seller Despite Backlash Over ‘Homemaker’ Speech
Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas on Feb. 5, 2024. (Chris Unger/Getty Images)

Despite receiving significant backlash from the NFL and other quarters for a commencement speech he made earlier this month, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has seen his merchandise gain in popularity in terms of online sales.

Mr. Butker’s men’s jersey and T-shirt have become among the most popular Chiefs gear on the NFL online shop, with his jersey also third among the best-selling men’s jersey’s in the league.

In the 20-minute speech he gave on May 11 at Benedictine College, a private Catholic school in Atchison, Kansas, the 28-year-old expressed his candid views on the societal stigma placed on women who assume the role of homemakers, while calling out President Joe Biden for his views on abortion.

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” said Mr. Butker in his speech. “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.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.”

After his speech, Mr. Butker faced intense criticism for his views, with NFL officials distancing themselves from the player’s statements.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” said Jonathan Beane, NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, in a statement to a number of media outlets on May 16.

“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.”

In his speech, Mr. Butker also criticized President Biden for proclaiming himself to be a Catholic, but then continuing to take a stance in support of abortion.

“He has been so vocal in his support for the murder of innocent babies that I’m sure to many people it appears that you can be both Catholic and pro-choice,” Mr. Butker said.

The White House responded on May 16, saying that President Biden will remain a staunch supporter of abortion access. “The president is not going to back away from supporting women and reproductive rights, reproductive health care,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in response to a question from ABC reporter Karen Travers.

However, there have also been multiple voices of support for Mr. Butker, who is proud of his Catholic faith. The Chiefs’ defensive tackle Chris Jones was one of the first to speak out in support of Mr. Butker after a petition was launched to cut him from the team.

“I love you @buttkicker7! My brotha,” Mr. Jones posted on X.

In addition, Mr. Butker received support from Tavia Hunt, wife of Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt, and from her daughter, Gracie.

“I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith, and what he’s accomplished on and off the field,” Gracie Hunt said in an interview with Fox News’ Steve Doocy.

NTD Photo
Tavia Hunt (L) and her husband, chairman and CEO of the Kansas City Chiefs Clark Hunt, attend the 13th annual NFL Honors awards at Resorts World Theatre in Las Vegas, Nev., on Feb. 8, 2024. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

“I’ve always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams. I want them to know that they can do whatever they want (that honors God). But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer,” Ms. Hunt wrote in an Instagram post alongside pictures of herself with her daughters Gracie and Ava.

“Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted.”

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