Harrison Butker NFL jersey sales are up in aftermath of controversial commencement speech

Kansas City Chiefs kicker told group of female graduates to forgo their career goals and focus on being a ‘homemaker’

James Liddell
Friday 17 May 2024 19:10 BST
Related: Travis Kelce’s teammate criticises Pride and women while quoting Taylor Swift

Jersey sales of Kansas City Chiefs star Harrison Butker have skyrocketed following his controversial speech, which was branded misogynistic and homophobic.

The NFL kicker is facing a backlash after his 20-minute commencement address at Catholic private school Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, last Saturday.

Mr Butker, 28, has been criticised for his contentious views concerning abortion, Pride Month, Covid-19 and gender equality – telling a class of female graduates that a woman’s “most important title” is “homemaker”.

Now, the three-time Super Bowl champion’s jersey sales have gone through the roof, according to NFL.com.

Only teammate Travis Kelce, who is dating pop icon Taylor Swift, has higher sales than Mr Butker. The kicker’s jersey sales have topped the likes of star quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Mr Butker even referenced Ms Swift and pinched the lyric “familiarity breeds contempt” from her 2022 hit “Bejeweled” to use in his speech.

Kansas City Chiefs' kicker Harrison Butker scores the winning points during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles
Kansas City Chiefs' kicker Harrison Butker scores the winning points during Super Bowl LVII between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Philadelphia Eagles (AFP via Getty Images)

Official licensed sports gear seller, Rally House, said their Kansas store had sold out of Butker shirts, news station KCTV5 reported.

“[Butker] has sold more than Kelce and Mahomes today, just the demand after the speech, it’s been men and women – it’s been both calling to get his jersey,” store manager Aaron Lewis said.

Mr Butker, who is staunchly Catholic, spoke of the pride he took in his faith, using it as a segue to criticise Pride Month and the LGBTQ+ movement.

“Not the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it, but the true God-centred pride that is cooperating with the Holy Ghost to glorify him,” he said in the speech.

He went on to blast President Joe Biden’s pro-choice stance on abortion, slamming his “support for the murder of innocent babies”.

The Chiefs player also claimed that marriage and having children is where a woman’s true purpose lies. He dubbed women who follow career goals as a “diabolical lie”.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” he said.

A Change.org petition, calling for Butker’s dismissal from the Chiefs over his remarks, has garnered over 170,000 signatures.

The wife of ex-Chiefs player Mitch Schwartz also publicly called out the kicker for his comments on women.

“I’m going to sound controversial since Mitch was teammates with him for many years,” Brooke Schwartz wrote on a recent Instagram story. “That the most important thing they can become is a homemaker? What in The Handmaid’s Tale is this crap?”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in