Travis Kelce joins Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes in defending Harrison Butker, calls Chiefs kicker ‘great person’

The Kansas City Chiefs haven’t remained free from distractions in the months since their last Super Bowl victory. Most recently, kicker Harrison Butker found himself in the social media crosshairs for the veteran’s polarizing commencement speech at Benedictine College. But Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce became the latest teammate to defend Butker this week, responding to the kicker’s comments on a recent episode of his “New Heights” podcast.

“I’ve known him for probably over seven years, over eight years,” Kelce said. “And I cherish him as a teammate. I think (Patrick Mahomes) said it best: He’s absolutely…a great person and a great teammate. He treated the friends and family that I I presented with nothing but respect and kindness, and this is how he treats everyone. Regarding his opinions and what he said during the opening speech, these are. his, I can’t say I agree with the majority, or just about any of that other than the fact that he loves his family and his kids, (but) I don’t think I should. judging him on his opinions, especially his religious opinions, on how to live life… I grew up in a wonderful place upbringing different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities… My mother and father made their home what it was. So they were housewives and breadwinners.

Kelce’s brother Jason had similar sentiments on the podcast.

“I (enjoyed) the reactions of my teammates with the Chiefs, the reactions of Andy Reid,” Kelce said. “You learn about the people they’re around on a daily basis. … A lot of the things he said are not things I associate with, but he’s giving a commencement speech at a Catholic university and – – shocking – – it ended up being a very religious and Catholic speech.”

Among other things, Butker’s comments caught the attention of the NFL office, with Commissioner Roger Goodell issuing the following statement last week, according to Yahoo Sports: “Harrison Butker made a speech in his personal capacity. His opinions are not not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in its commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

Asked again about Butker’s speech Wednesday, Goodell explained that the league has a “diversity of opinions.”

“We have over 3,000 players,” he said. “They have a diversity of opinions and thoughts, just like America. I think that’s something that we cherish and is ultimately part of what makes our society better.”

Those comments from Goodell were echoed by Reid and Mahomes, the Chiefs’ two most notable spokespeople, who defended the kicker Wednesday during Kansas City’s OTA session.

“I know Harrison,” Mahomes told reporters. “I’ve known him for seven years. And I judge him by the character he shows every day, and he’s a good person. He’s someone who cares about the people around him, who cares about his family and who wants to make a good impact in society When you are in the locker room, there are many people from different walks of life, and they have very different views on everything and we will not be. always okay.

“And he said some things that I don’t necessarily agree with. But I understand the person he is, and he tries to do everything he can to try to lead people in the right direction. And it may not be the same direction as me, but at the same time, I’m going to judge him on the values ​​he shows every day, and he’s a great person… I know. what kind of person he is, and I’ll make sure I look at that first.

Reid followed Mahomes’ position, alongside the three-time Super Bowl champion.

“I talk to Harrison all the time,” Reid said. “I didn’t tell him about it. I didn’t think I needed to. We’re a microcosm of life here. We come from different areas, different religions, different races. We all get along well. We let’s all respect each other’s opinions and we don’t necessarily take it into account, but we respect that everyone has a voice. That’s a good thing about America, man, we’re just. a microcosm of that, and I wish – my wish is that everyone I could kind of follow that.

When asked how he might respond to women working for chefs who took umbrage with Butker’s comments, Reid dismissed the question, telling reporters that didn’t happen.

“I don’t think he was talking down to women,” Reid added. “But he has his opinions, and we all respect that. I let you in this room, and you have a lot of opinions that I don’t like.”

Butker initially received backlash – mostly on social media – after his vast speech of May 11, addressed to practicing Catholics, addressed a number of hot-button issues, including abortion and “degenerate cultural values.” The 28-year-old kicker notably claimed that women have heard “evil lies” about prioritizing career advancement over motherhood, and suggested that Pride Month celebrates a “sin deadly “. He also urged men to be more present – ​​and “do hard things” – both at home and outside.

Butker, who is one of the NFL’s most accurate kickers of all time in terms of career completion percentage, briefly saw his No. 7 jersey. become one of the best sellers in the league after his remarks went viral.

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