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Patrick Mahomes and Chiefs coach Andy Reid stand by Harrison Butker after controversial graduation speech

Walkout before Seinfeld's speech at Duke
Some Duke graduates walk out before Jerry Seinfeld's commencement speech 00:35

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid and the team's star quarterback Patrick Mahomes are standing by kicker Harrison Butker, who has faced backlash after giving a controversial commencement address at Benedictine College earlier this month.

Butker shared controversial thoughts on many topics during his speech — Pride month, COVID-19 and women in the workplace among them. His speech at the Catholic private liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, went viral, and while many people online condemned his words, his jersey became one of the top-selling after the graduation.

Speaking to reporters after organized team activities, Mahomes said he's known Butker for seven years and judges him by his everyday character, saying that he's a good person.

"That's someone who cares about the people around him, cares about his family and wants to make a good impact in society," Mahomes said. "When you're in the locker room, there's a lot of people from a lot of different areas of life, and they have a lot of different views on everything. And we're not always gonna agree."

During his speech, Butker addressed the women graduates, saying they were told "diabolic lies." "Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world, but I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children you will bring into this world," he said. "I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother."

He also attacked what he called "dangerous gender ideologies," apparently referencing the LGBTQ celebration of Pride month and criticized the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for the degenerate cultural values and media, all stem from pervasiveness of disorder," he said.

Mahomes said there are things Butker said that he don't necessarily agree with. "But I understand the person that he is, and he's trying to do whatever he can to try to lead people in the right direction," Mahomes said. "And that might not be the same values as I have, but at the same time, I'm gonna judge him by the values that he shows every day, and that's a great person."

Similarly, Reid defended Butker's character, saying at the press conference that he talks to the kicker all the time – but didn't talk to him about this. "I didn't think I needed to. We're a microcosm of life here. We're from different areas, different religions, different races. We all get along. We all respect each other's opinions. And not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everybody to have a voice. That's a great thing about America, man. We're just a microcosm of that, and I wish –– my wish is that everybody could kinda follow that," Reid said. 

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