American footballer Harrison Butker, who plays alongside Taylor Swift’s boyfriend, Travis Kelce, has found himself at the centre of controversy following remarks he made about Pride month.

Speaking at Catholic Benedictine College over the weekend, Butker called Pride month “sinful” and suggested that women would find the most happiness in being wives and mothers.

During his commencement speech at the college in Atchison, Kansas, Butker addressed female students, saying, “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you. Some of you may go on to lead successful careers, 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. 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.”


Butker also spoke directly to male graduates, urging them to embrace their masculinity. “As men, we set the tone of the culture, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction, and chaos set in,” he asserted.

He encouraged all students to have “true God-centred pride, not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it” and criticised the Democrats’ position on abortion.

In response to Butker’s speech, a petition was launched on Tuesday, the 14th of May, demanding his removal from the team. The petition states, “These dehumanising remarks against LGBTQ+ individuals, attacks on abortion rights, and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights. It is unacceptable for such a public figure to use their platform to foster harm rather than unity.”

The National Football League (NFL) has since distanced itself from Butker’s views, with Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, saying, “Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. His views are not those of the NFL as an organisation. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

Justice Horn, the former chairman of the Kansas City LGBTQ Commission, also condemned Butker’s speech, stating on X, “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.”

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive of LGBTQ+ charity GLAAD, described Butker’s comments as “inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people, and women.”

Butker has not yet responded to the backlash.