Chiefs' Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid break silence on Harrison Butker's controversial commencement speech

Meeting for the first time since winning Super Bowl LVIII in February, Chiefs players and personnel fielded questions about the team's offseason.
Chiefs Mahomes Reid Butker
Posted at 3:24 PM, May 23, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid appear to be standing by teammate Harrison Butker following a controversial college commencement speech he gave earlier this month.

Meeting for the first time since winning Super Bowl LVIII in February, Kansas City players and personnel gathered back together this week to kick off organized team activities ahead of the 2024 NFL season. It also gave reporters the first chance to press players and coaches on topics like Butker's speech to the 2024 graduating class at Benedictine College, which was immediately met with widespread backlash online.

During his May 11 address at the private liberal arts school, Butker suggested that most of the female graduates in attendance are likely more excited about marriage and motherhood than leading successful careers — something that drew mixed reactions from those in attendance. He also spoke on the LGBTQ+ movement, abortion, masculinity and more, saying women have been told "the most diabolical lies" about things like abortion, in vitro fertilization and the "deadly sins" of Pride Month.

When asked about Butker's speech Wednesday, Mahomes said it doesn't change what he thinks about his longtime teammate.

Travis Kelce is pictured next to Harrison Butker.


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"There's some things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with, but I understand the person that he is and that he is trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction,” Mahomes said. “That might not be the same values that I have, but at the same time, I’m going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day.”

Mahomes, who is a part owner of Kansas City's professional women's soccer team, also acknowledged it was "pretty bad timing" that Butker's speech happened around the same time he was promoting the unprecedented support for women's sports across the country.

"You make your own decisions at the end of the day," Mahomes added. "And I think that's what makes this country so great is that you're able to get as much knowledge as you can and then make your own decisions."

Head coach Andy Reid also fielded questions about his kicker's speech, saying he hasn't spoken to Butker about it directly but the situation can be used as an example to learn from.

Kansas City Chiefs place kicker Harrison Butker.

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"We’re a microcosm of life here,” he said. “Everybody is from different areas, different religions, different races. And so we all get along, we all respect each other's opinions. Not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everyone to have a voice. That's America. My wish is that everybody could follow that."

The NFL took a different stance earlier this month, distancing itself from the Chiefs kicker by saying his statements did not align with the views of the league.

"Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity," NFL senior vice president Jonathan Beane said in a statement to People. "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 joined the Chiefs in 2017 after being signed off the Carolina Panthers practice squad. He enters his eighth season having won three Super Bowls with Kansas City.