Harrison Butker’s jersey sales surpass Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes

Benedictine College nuns denounce kicker’s speech

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada. | Chris Unger/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has seen a surge in jersey sales, outpacing those of his superstar teammates Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce.

This spike in sales follows Butker's commencement speech at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, which has drawn sharp criticism and support from various quarters.

According to the official NFL Shop, Butker’s No. 7 jersey had become the top seller among Kansas City Chiefs merchandise as of Friday afternoon. CBS Sports confirmed this trend, noting that Butker’s remarks during the graduation ceremony had significantly influenced his jersey’s popularity.

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Although specific sales numbers were not disclosed, the jersey was listed among the “Top Sellers” on the NFL Shop website.

Butker’s speech at Benedictine College addressed several issues, including gender roles, abortion and cultural values. His speech included comments suggesting that many women are most excited about their roles as wives and mothers rather than pursuing professional careers.

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

His remarks sparked backlash, particularly from the Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, who issued a statement condemning Butker’s views. The nuns, associated with the college, said his comments did not reflect the institution’s values.

“The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica do not believe that Harrison Butker’s comments in his 2024 Benedictine College commencement address represent the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that our founders envisioned and in which we have been so invested,” read the statement posted on Facebook.

“We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years. These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

The NFL also distanced itself from Butker’s remarks.

Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said Butker’s views were his own and not reflective of the league’s stance. Harrison Butker “gave a speech in his personal capacity. 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,” Beane stated.

GLAAD, an LGBT activist organization, also criticized Butker’s speech, describing it as “a clear miss” and “woefully out of step with Americans about [p]ride, LGBTQ people and women.” The organization also reacted Butker’s denouncement of so-called LGBT pride month.

However, Butker also received support from prominent individuals, including Tavia Hunt, the wife of Chiefs' owner Clark Hunt.

In an Instagram post, Tavia Hunt defended Butker’s praise of motherhood, noting that affirming the role of mothers is not bigoted. “Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted,” she wrote.

Over 216,600 people have signed a petition calling for the NFL and the Chiefs to release Butker, labeling his speech as “sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist.”

Despite this, Butker’s popularity and jersey sales continue to rise.

Butker’s speech also included criticism of President Joe Biden and addressed issues such as abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia and what he described as “degenerate cultural values.”

He urged graduates to align their lives more closely with God’s will, using his wife, Isabelle, as an example of finding fulfillment in traditional roles. “Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you ask her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation and say ‘heck no,’” Butker told the audience.

In a public appearance, Gracie Hunt, the daughter of Clark Hunt, expressed respect for Butker’s Christian faith and accomplishments.

“I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he’s accomplished on and off the field,” she said. Gracie Hunt shared her own positive experiences growing up with a stay-at-home mother, acknowledging that while not all women can make that choice, it was formative for her and her siblings.

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