What Chiefs coach Andy Reid said about Harrison Butker’s graduation speech comments

Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid was asked Wednesday about Harrison Butker’s recent comments at a college graduation ceremony, including whether he’d talked to the kicker about his now-viral words.

Reid said Wednesday he didn’t think that he needed to address that with the eighth-year pro.

“We’re a microcosm of life here. Everybody is from different areas, different religions, different races,” Reid said, referring to an NFL locker room. “And so we all get along, we all respect each other’s opinions. And not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everyone to have a voice. It’s the great thing about America, man. And we’re just a microcosm of that. “My wish is that everyone could follow that.”

Chiefs coach Andy Reid watches drills during practice at the team’s training facility on Wednesday, May 22, 2024, in Kansas City.

Butker gained national attention following his commencement address in mid-May at Benedictine, a Catholic liberal arts college in Atchison, Kansas. During his talk about him, Butker spoke directly to women graduates while breaking down at one point while talking about his wife, Isabelle.

“Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world,” Butker said to the women at the ceremony. “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.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say that her life truly began when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I’m on this stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who reads into her vocation.

“I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because the girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

The speech has drawn both praise and criticism while focusing additional attention on the Chiefs. One reporter asked Reid on Wednesday how he was going to ensure Butker’s words weren’t a distraction for a team trying to win its third straight Super Bowl.

“The guys are good with that. They understand. They understand how things work,” Reid said, referring to his players. “Everybody’s got their own opinion; that’s what’s so great about this country. You can share those things, and you work through it. And that’s what guys do.”

Reid’s words Wednesday were his first public comments on Butker since the Benedictine speech; a satire website previously printed fake quotes from Reid that recently had gained some traction among social media sites.

When asked what he’d say to female employees of the Chiefs who might take offense to Butker’s words, Reid said he hadn’t heard from anyone like that.

“I don’t think (Harrison) was speaking ill of women,” Reid said. “But he has his opinions of him, and we all respect that.”

Butker worked with Chiefs teammates Wednesday during Organized Team Activities in Kansas City. The voluntary workouts take place over the next three weeks.

The kicker’s graduation speech continued an active offseason for Chiefs headlines, as receiver Rashee Rice faces eight charges after he admitted to being a driver in a high-speed crash on a Texas highway.

Reid was asked whether he was frustrated with the number of off-field distractions in recent months.

“We don’t want those things, obviously, to happen. But things do happen, and you work through it,” Reid said. “And my thing is, it’s important that you learn from it, and that you end it. “So that’s important.”

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