Roger Goodell praises 'diversity of opinions' in NFL, USA following Harrison Butker's speech

Harrison Butker’s commencement speech brought its fair share of both praise and criticism.

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker encouraged women graduates to embrace their “vocation” as a “homemaker” and criticized the LGBTQ community and President Biden for his stance on abortion.

In the speech, Butker went after President Biden while adding, “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.”


NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell attends a Super Bowl Host Committee handoff news conference at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center on Feb. 12, 2024 in Las Vegas. (Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, though, took a different route, praising the country for its ability to give its citizens freedom of speech.

“We have over 3,000 players. … They have a diversity of opinions & thoughts just like America does. I think that’s something that we treasure & that’s part of ultimately what makes us as a society better,” Goodell said on Wednesday, via Yahoo Sports.

Goodell’s comments echoed the sentiments of Butker’s quarterback and coach, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid.

“What makes the locker room so cool is you’re able to have those discussions and become better and make those decisions for yourself,” Mahomes, the reigning Super Bowl MVP, told reporters Wednesday. “Even though there’s vast differences as far as those speeches happening at the same time, you get to talk to guys and get knowledge, and you make your own decisions at the end of the day.

Place kicker Harrison Butker, #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs, celebrates kicking a field goal in the fourth quarter against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on Nov. 26, 2023 in Las Vegas. (Candice Ward/Getty Images)


“That’s what makes this country so great is that you’re able to get as much knowledge as you can, and then you make your own decisions.”

Reid added, “Everybody’s got their own opinion, and that’s what’s so great about this country. You can share those things, and you can work through it. That’s what guys do.”

Mahomes prefaced these comments by talking about Butker as the person he has come to know over the past seven seasons with the Chiefs. He also admitted he had a difference of opinion about some comments from Butker’s speech.

Harrison Butker, #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs, warms up prior to Super Bowl LVIII against the San Francisco 49ers at Allegiant Stadium on Feb. 11, 2024 in Las Vegas. ( Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

Butker’s jersey sales have since skyrocketed on NFL Shop, while many in the media remain split about the speech.

Butker played in his third Super Bowl earlier this year with Kansas City.

Fox News’ Scott Thompson contributed to this report.

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