Travis Kelce reacts to Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech

Travis Kelce is speaking out on Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement address at Benedictine College earlier this month, stating Friday on his “New Heights” podcast that while he”can’t say I agree with the majority” of what was said, he “cherishes” Butker as a teammate.

When discussing the Chiefs kicking off OTAs this week, Kelce, 34, touched upon Butker, who has come under fire for comments made during his speech which touched upon a variety of topics including politics, religion and cultural issues.

“I’ve known him for seven-plus years, probably eight-plus years, and I cherish him as a teammate. I think [Chiefs quarterback] Pat [Mahomes] said it best, where he is every bit of a great person and a great teammate, he’s treated friends and family that I’ve introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness, and that’s how he treats everyone,” the tight end said.

“When it comes down to his views and what he said at [Benedictine College] commencement speech, those are his. I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it, outside of just him loving his family and his kids and I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views of how to go about life, that’s just not who I am.”

Butker, who won three Super Bowls with Kelce, said in his speech at the Catholic institution that women had “the most diabolical lies told” to them and suggested they were likely more enthused about getting married and starting a family than their professions.

“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. I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” he said at the time.

Kelce then segued into his own “beautiful upbringing” in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, where he had a “broad view of a lot of different walks of life,” and expressed gratitude for the life parents Ed and Donna Kelce provided him and older brother Jason Kelce.

I grew up in a beautiful upbringing of different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities in Cleveland Heights and that’s why I love Cleveland Heights for what it was, it showed me a broad spectrum, or just a broad view of a lot of different walks of life and I appreciated every single one of those people for different reasons and I never once had to feel like I needed to judge them based off of their beliefs,” Kelce said.

“My household, my mother and my father both provided for our family, and both my mother and my father made home what it was, so they were homemakers and they were providers, and they were unbelievable at being present every single day in my life. And I think that was, that was a beautiful upbringing for me. Now I don’t think everyone should do the way that my parents did, but I sure as hell thank my parents and love my parents for being able to provide and making sure that home was what it was, because, I’m not the same person without both of them being who they were in my life.”

Kelce’s comments come days after Mahomes and Chiefs coach Andy Reid were asked about Butker, 28, who is entering his eighth season in Kansas City.

“I’ve known Harrison for seven years, and I judge him by the character that he shows every single day, and that’s a good person,” the three-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback told reporters Wednesday, noting, “There’s certain things that [Butker] said that I don’t necessarily agree with.”

Reid said Tuesday: “We’re a microcosm of life. Everyone is from different areas, different religions, different races. 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. That’s the great thing about America, man … and my wish is that everybody can kind of follow that.”

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