N.F.L. Player Draws Rebukes (and Trolling) for Graduation Speech

Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs is one of the best place-kickers in the N.F.L. That is enough to make him somewhat famous in the football world, but players of his position aren’t typically known by more casual observers — unless they do something especially great or terrible on the field.

Last weekend, with the N.F.L. solidly in its off-season, Mr. Butker found himself at the center of a great deal of vitriol on social media, and it had nothing to do with his job.

On Saturday, Mr. Butker delivered a 20-minute commencement address to the graduates of Benedictine College, a conservative Catholic school in Atchison, Kan., about 50 miles northwest of Kansas City. He packed his speech full of conservative political discourse, railing against “degenerative cultural values and media.” He rebuked President Joe Biden for his stance as a Catholic who supports abortion rights, and urged women to forgo careers so that they could support their husbands.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” Mr. Butker said. “I’m on this stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.”

He added: “It cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

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