Harrison Butker’s Take on Motherhood

Kansas City Chiefs player makes statement about motherhood.

Harrison Butker, NFL kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, delivered the 2024 Benedictine College commencement speech and gained a lot of attention. Butker shared his Catholic views with the largely Catholic audience who listened on with support, but the outside world criticized his bold remarks. In his speech, Butker stressed the importance of supporting and respecting women. He used his platform to call society to a higher standard, and to respect all roles that women take on, whether they choose to excel in the workplace, or as mothers. 

The attention that Butker’s speech is receiving has brought many differing viewpoints to light. Some claimed Butker’s speech was chauvinistic and negatively enforced gender roles, while others felt he empowered women to fulfill their unique calling to be mothers.  

As Butker noted in his speech, women are being told the most “diabolical lies;” lies about what their careers need to look like, lies about the value of motherhood, and lies about what “being successful” looks like for a woman. Society has been rough on women. They have been convinced that in order to be successful, they need to devote their lives to their work to be able to “compete” with men. That is just not true. 

Butker looked the graduates in the eye from the podium and stated that some of the graduating women “may go on to lead successful careers,” but speculated that a lot of them are “most excited about [their] marriage, and the children [they] will bring into the world.” We trust that his statements weren’t meant to be a dig at women and their accomplishments but were meant to show his love and respect for what women have the unique ability to do.  

Becoming a mother is something that belongs to women. Men and women are made to be able to complement each other, and this is undeniably apparent when they enter parenthood.  

It’s important to note that even though women are made to be mothers, that doesn’t mean they can’t have any other role in life. There is an important question we should ask ourselves: When did “and” become impossible? The amazing thing about being a woman is that you have the opportunity to lead a successful career and be a mother and a wife.  

As Butker said, our success is not measured in our promotions or titles, but there are so many other things that also define who we are. When he stated that women are most excited about their marriage and future children, he did not say that is the only thing they are allowed to do or the only thing they are worthy of. No, he was saying that even though their careers are important to them, many of them are probably looking forward to when they get to have a family of their own.

The commencement speech that day was a celebration of the diverse roles that women take on, so as to not confine them to stereotypical gender roles. To drive his point home, Butker quoted a lyric from Taylor Swift. “Familiarity breeds contempt.” This phrase is used when someone has so much knowledge about something that they take it for granted or lose respect. When it comes to motherhood, we cannot let its importance and uniqueness wane purely out of familiarity.  

Butker lit up with a grin when he began talking about his own wife, it was clear from his face the admiration and love he has for her. He says that he would not be the man he was today if she had not been there and supported him and fully leaned into the title of a homemaker. He expressed the value homemakers have in shaping our society in a way similar to successful businesswomen.  

When broaching the topic of truth, Butker said, “The world around us says that we should keep our beliefs to ourselves whenever they go against the tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We fear speaking truth, because now, unfortunately, truth is in the minority.” This is such a sad fact because truth is the most important tool society has.  

After the outcry from social media, Butker’s coach, teammates, and many others weighed in. They noted the importance of his constitutional right to free speech. Even if they did not fully agree with everything that he said, they recognized the kind of person that Butker is, and that his intent was not out of malice, but rather out of love.  

Since the speech, Butker has doubled down on his statements saying, “If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now. Over the past few days, my beliefs—or what people think I believe—have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe. At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate.” 

Vitae Foundation wields truth to reach women who have been deceived with lies. This is so important when addressing the lies that women have been told, especially about abortion and their reproductive rights. The abortion industry is spreading the lie that being pro-life means that you don’t support women, which is inherently false. Through research, Vitae Foundation has inspired a change in the Pro-Life Movement, calling for a culture shift in the way we speak to women. By working to resolve a woman’s needs first before talking about the baby, there has been a major paradigm shift. Through this change and the application of countless other research study findings, Vitae Foundation has empowered women to find truth and choose life.  

Make sure to show the women in your life that you support and value them and love them enough to tell them the truth.