KRAWIEC: The controversial graduation speech

Liberals are drawing up petitions to have him fired from the Chiefs and banned from the NFL

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7) looks up at the scoreboard against the San Francisco 49ers during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 58 football game Sunday, Feb. 11, 2024, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Steve Luciano)

There are lots of great speeches made this time of year at graduation ceremonies all over the country. I don’t think there has ever been one that has received more attention than the speech given by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at Benedictine Catholic College in Kansas over Mother’s Day weekend.

Most people probably never heard of this kicker before. I know I wasn’t familiar with the name. For the past week, there has been lots of chattering about this young man and the “Controversial Speech” he gave.

Liberals are drawing up petitions to have him fired from the Chiefs and banned from the NFL. Social media is going crazy and would like to have Butker erased from humanity (one writer suggested).

Let’s look at what he had to say that has garnered so much attention and criticism. He spoke about his Catholic faith and serving God. He discussed an erosion of traditional Catholic values. He claimed “abortion and euthanasia and also a growing support for degenerate cultural values and media” are coming from a “pervasiveness of disorder.”

He criticized President Biden for proclaiming his Catholic faith and “being delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally.” He said the president made it seem as if you could be Catholic and pro-choice.

He chastised world leaders for “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.” He thanked the students at Benedictine for embracing their religion with pride but “not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it.”

He blasted the Catholic Church and priests and bishops for “misleading their flocks.” He said they had failed their parishioners by not being teachers.

The comments that garnered the most criticism were his comments to the young women in the graduating class. He told the women that they had been told “diabolical lies” about their future careers and that many of them would want to be wives and mothers. He then went on to tell his personal story of his family and how their success was the result of his wife’s dedication and commitment to being a wife and mother. While expressing his love for his wife he became very emotional.

Because of his “controversial” remarks, the Benedictine nuns condemned him, and the NFL put out a statement distancing themselves and “disagreeing” with his comments. Imagine that. The NFL has had one incident after another of scandals surrounding players and they have been speechless regarding the misbehavior of these spoiled children, but this speech gets a strong reaction.

The students at the college gave Butker a standing ovation. His jersey has been the No. 1 seller for the NFL since the speech. The women’s jerseys have completely sold out.

This speech was, in my opinion, right on target. It’s hard to understand the backlash to sound mainstream traditional values.

From my own experience, I can say that the greatest satisfaction and pride in my life has been in being a wife and mother. Nothing else compares to the fulfillment of watching my children grow up and spending as much time as I can with them.

As Barbara Bush once said, “I’ve never heard anyone say, ‘I wish I had spent more time on my career.’ I’ve heard many say, ‘I wish I had spent more time with my family.’”

God has blessed me in so many ways. I’ve had a successful career and have enjoyed every new challenge that He has given me. I have been able to accomplish things, with His help, that I could never have done on my own. But the blessing of having my family and being able to spend time with my children and watch them grow tops everything.

Sen. Joyce Krawiec has represented Forsyth County and the 31st District in the North Carolina Senate since 2014. She lives in Kernersville.