Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes, Coach Andy Reid defend Harrison Butker: 'A good person'

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 star quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid have come to the defense of the team's kicker, Harrison Butker, who has dominated headlines since his Catholic college commencement speech earlier this month.

In remarks at a press conference Wednesday, Reid and Mahomes reacted to the controversy surrounding Butker, who gave a commencement speech at Benedictine College two weeks ago, touching on a variety of hot-button issues, including gender, abortion, surrogacy, euthanasia and LGBT ideology. 

Butker's remarks drew backlash in the form of an online petition backed by over 250,000 people calling on the National Football League and the Chiefs to release the kicker who has been on the team as it won three Super Bowls in the last five years. The petition accused Butker's remarks of being "sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist" views that "threaten social progress."

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Speaking to reporters Wednesday, Mahomes indicated that he had known Butker for seven years and judges him based on the "character that he shows every single day."

"And that's a good person," Mahomes said, describing his teammate as "someone who cares about the people around him, cares about his family and wants to make a good impact in society."

"When you're in the locker room, there's a lot of people from a lot of different areas of life, and they have a lot of different views on everything and we're not always going to agree," he added. "There are certain things that he said that I don't necessarily agree with, but I understand the person that he is, and he's trying to do whatever he can to lead people in the right direction."

"What makes the locker room so cool is you are able to have those discussions, become better and make those decisions for yourself," he added. "So even though there are vast differences as far as speech that is happening, you are able to talk to guys, and you get knowledge, and you make your own decisions, at the end of the day. I think that is what makes this country so great." 

Although Mahomes suggested that Butker's point of view "might not be the same values as I have," he reiterated, "I'm going to judge him by the character that he shows every single day: that's a great person."

"We'll continue to move along and try to help build each other up to make ourselves better every single day, but at the end of the day, we're going to come together as a team" while "eliminating those distractions outside the building as well."

Reid, the Chiefs' head coach since 2013, commented on Butker's commencement speech by declaring that "everybody's got their own opinion" and that "that's what's so great about this country." 

"I didn't talk to him about this, didn't think we needed to," Reid said. "We're a microcosm of life here by serving different areas, different religions, different races and so we all get along, we all respect each other's opinions and not necessarily do we go by those but … we respect everybody to have a voice."

While addressing graduates at the Catholic educational institution, Butker condemned President Joe Biden, a practicing Catholic, for supporting abortion in addition to criticizing the "growing support for degenerate cultural values."

Butker lamented the embrace of "dangerous gender ideologies" and told the women in Benedictine's graduating class that "the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world." He noted that his wife gave up her career to become a stay-at-home mom and assured the graduates that she would respond "heck no" if she was asked if she regretted her decision.

Mahomes and Reid are not the first people affiliated with the Chiefs to defend Butker. Last week, Tavia Hunt, wife of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, shared her thoughts on the substance of Butker's remarks without mentioning him by name, asserting that "affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted."

"It is empowering to acknowledge that a woman's hard work in raising children is not in vain. Countless highly educated women devote their lives to nurturing and guiding their children."

Hunt's daughter, Gracie, expressed similar sentiments during an appearance on "Fox & Friends" last week. She told the morning news program, "I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he's accomplished on and off the field," as she positively recalled her childhood raised by a stay-at-home mom.

"I can only speak from my own experience, which is I've had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us kids growing up," Gracie Hunt said. 

"I understand that there are many women out there who can't make that decision. But for me and my life, I know it was really formative and in shaping me and my siblings into who we are," she concluded.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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