Travis Kelce reacts to Chiefs teammate Harrison Butker's controversial graduation speech

ByCarson Blackwelder GMA logo
Friday, May 24, 2024
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KANSAS CITY -- Travis Kelce is weighing in on his Kansas City Chiefs teammate Harrison Butker's controversial commencement speech from earlier this month.

In his May 11 address to graduates at Benedictine College, a Catholic liberal arts college in Atchison, Kansas, Butker touched on issues including birth control, abortion and describing Pride Month as a "deadly sin." Perhaps the most headline-grabbing was him telling the female graduates in attendance they'd been told "the most diabolical lies" about putting their career above their roles as mothers and wives and "homemaker."

Kelce, in the May 24 episode of his "New Heights" podcast, said he "cherish[ed]" Butker -- whom he said he called Harry -- as a teammate and, despite not agreeing with his opinions, said the Chiefs kicker has every right to have them.

"He's treated friends and family that I've introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness, and that's how he treats everyone," the tight end said.

"When it comes down to his views and what he said at the Saint Benedict's commencement speech, you know, those are his," he continued. "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."

Kelce said growing up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, in "a beautiful upbringing of different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities" showed him "a broad view of a lot of different walks of life."

"I appreciated every single one of those people for different reasons, and I never once had to feel like I needed to judge them based off of their beliefs," he said.

Kelce then praised his parents, Ed and Donna Kelce, for both making a home for their family.

"They were homemakers and they were providers and they were unbelievable at being present every single day in my life. That was a beautiful upbringing for me," he said. "Now, I don't think everyone should do it the way that my parents did, but I certainly -- and sure as hell -- thank my parents and love my parents for being able to provide and making sure that home was what it was because I'm not the same person without both of them being who they were in my life."

Kelce's thoughts on Butker's commencement speech echo those of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes who, earlier this week, told ESPN he did not "necessarily agree with" what his teammate said but that he would "judge him by the character that he shows every single day" and called him "a great person."