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Benedictine Sisters denounce Harrison Butker’s speech as his jersey sales rise


Benedictine Sisters denounce Harrison Butker’s speech as his jersey sales rise

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica spoke out against Harrison Butker’s controversial graduation speech at Benedictine College, saying they “reject a narrow definition of what it means to be Catholic” and “the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman.”

During the commencement speech at the Catholic school in Atchison, Kansas, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker addressed gender ideologies and said a woman’s most important title is “homemaker.” He also referred to Pride Month as an example of the “deadly sins,” and said he wanted the graduating class to prevent political leaders from interfering with social issues that impact their relationship with the church.

In a statement released Friday, the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica said they “do not believe that Harrison Butker’s comments in his 2024 Benedictine College commencement address represent the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that our founders envisioned and in which we have been so invested.

“Instead of promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world, his comments seem to have fostered division. … We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years. These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

The Benedictine Sisters are a founding institution and sponsor of Benedictine College, according to the Mount St. Scholastica website.

Butker’s jersey sales appear to be rising significantly since he delivered the 20-minute speech. The women’s jersey, which sells for $129.99, is out of stock on the official Chiefs Pro Shop. His men’s jersey is among the top sellers on, listed as the “most popular in Kansas City Chiefs.”

The Chiefs declined to comment when reached Thursday by The Athletic, but Tavia Hunt, the wife of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, posted pictures of herself with her daughters on Instagram on Friday. The post included a photo listing the pros and cons of stay-at-home parenting and a screenshot of the Institute for Family Studies website with the headline “Who is happiest? Married mothers and fathers, per the latest general social survey.”

In the post she said she “always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams. … But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer.”

Hunt added: “I also caution against taking things out of context.”

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Tavia Hunt, center, and Clark Hunt, right, at the 2023 Super Bowl. (Christian Petersen / Getty Images)

The NFL distanced itself from the ideas Butker expressed in his speech. NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said in a statement to The Athletic that Butker gave the speech “in his personal capacity.”

“His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger,” Beane said. His statement was first reported by People.

Legendary college football coach and TV analyst Lou Holtz took to X to thank Butker on Thursday “for standing strong in your faith values.”

“Your commencement speech at Benedictine College showed courage and conviction and I admire that,” Holtz wrote, later linking to a form from America First Works for people to sign and offer their thanks to Butker for his comments.

(Photo of Harrison Butker: Tim Nwachukwu / Getty Images)

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