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Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Quoted Taylor Swift in Controversial Commencement Speech

It’s likely Taylor Swift would like to be excluded from this narrative. Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker dragged the superstar into his controversial commencement speech, referring to her as Travis Kelce’s girlfriend.

“As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt’,” Butker, 28, said while speaking to graduates at Benedictine College in Kansas on May 11, quoting Swift’s song “Bejeweled.”

Butker’s speech has sparked controversy, particularly for his comments about the “diabolical lies” women have been told about their role in society.

“How many of you are sitting here now, about to cross this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?” he stated. “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.”

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Butker’s quotation of Swift in his speech is an ironic one as the pop star has reached endless musical achievements and broken several records over the course of her nearly two-decades-long career. In addition to being the artist with the most Album of the Year Grammy wins, Swift’s latest record, The Tortured Poets Department, made history as the album with the highest single-day streams on Spotify.

TTPD, which features several tracks rumored to be about Swift and Kelce’s romance, became the fastest album to reach 1 billion streams on Spotify and claimed every spot in Billboard’s top 14 since its April 19 release. (Swift and Kelce, 34, have been dating since summer 2023.)

Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker Quotes Taylor Swift in Controversial Speech
Ric Tapia/Getty Images; Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Butker went on to credit his success to his wife, Isabelle, as she “convert[ed] to the faith, become my wife and embrace[d] one of the most important titles of all: Homemaker.” (The couple, who wed in 2018, share two kids.)

“I say all of this to you because I have seen it firsthand, how much happier someone can be when they disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God’s will in their life,” he continued. “Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you ask her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation, and say, ‘Heck, no.’”


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During his speech, Butker also criticized President Joe Biden, the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and how “bad policies and poor policies have negatively impacted major life issues like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values in media all stems from the pervasiveness of disorder.”

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Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Butker’s went on to compare the LGBTQ+ community’s Pride to “deadly sins” and stating that men “set the tone of society, and when that is absent, disorder, dysfunction and chaos set in.”

While the speech has received negative reactions, former Kansas City Commissioner Justice Horn slammed Butker’s comments via X. “Harrison Butker doesn’t represent Kansas City nor has he ever,” Horn wrote on Tuesday, May 14. “Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members.”

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