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Whoopi Goldberg Defends Harrison Butker’s Speech, Compares Chiefs Kicker to Colin Kaepernick

In the wake of Harrison Butker’s widely-criticized commencement address, Whoopi Goldberg staunchly defended the Kansas City Chiefs kicker’s freedom of speech.

“Listen, I like when people say what they need to say,” Goldberg, 68, said Thursday, May 16 on The View. “He’s at a Catholic college, he’s a staunch Catholic. These are his beliefs and he’s welcome to them. I don’t have to believe them. I don’t have to accept them. The ladies that were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them.”

Butker, 28, gave the speech to the graduating class of Benedictine College on Saturday, May 11, during which he spoke about the “diabolical lies” being told to women,suggested the role of “homemaker” was paramount and spoke in a derogatory manner about the LGBTQ+ community, equating Pride Month with “deadly sins.”

On Thursday, Goldberg continued, “The same way we want respect when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours.”

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In 2016, then-San Francisco 49ers quarterback Kaepernick, 36, made a practice of sitting or kneeling during the national anthem before games to protest racial injustice and police brutality. Kaepernick became a free agent at the end of the season and has never been signed by another NFL team.

Following a spirited discussion with the rest of the panel, Goldberg related the outrage over Butker’s remarks to backlash she’s also been faced with in her own life.

Whoopi Goldberg Defends Harrison Butker s Speech Compares Chiefs Kicker to Colin Kaepernick
Whoopi Goldberg, Harrison Butker, Colin Kaepernick. Getty Images (3)

“If you’re coming for me, I have the right to say what I say,” she explained. “He has the right to say what he says.”

As Goldberg made her argument, Joy Behar sat two seats away with her arms crossed and a smirk on her face. 

“Joy, stop that,” Goldberg told Behar, 81. “I can see you. I know you want to get in here and you know that I’ll always make sure that you do.”

Behar laughed it off and allowed Goldberg to make her final point, which centered around the numerous petitions calling for the Chiefs to cut Butker from the team. 

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“I’m going to finish this because it’s one of the few times I’m getting in to make a point,” Goldberg said passionately. “When you say to somebody, ‘I don’t like what you said and so I’m going to get your job taken away because you disagree with me,’ for me that is an issue.”

Whoopi Goldberg Defends Harrison Butker s Speech Compares Chiefs Kicker to Colin Kaepernick
Whoopi Goldberg. Manoli Figetakis/Getty Images

She continued, “It happens to us all the time! That is why I am standing up for him.”

In a statement following the speech, the NFL indicated Butker gave the address in a “his personal capacity.”

“His views are not those of the NFL as an organization,” the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said. “The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

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