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The Worst Commencement Speech of All Time

On May 11, 2024, the worst Commencement speech of all time was delivered to Benedictine College by the Chiefs kicker.
Emily Curiel/
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (7) walks to the practice field at Chiefs training camp on Saturday, July 29, 2023, in St. Joseph, Mo. (Emily Curiel/The Kansas City Star/TNS)

On May 11, 2024, the worst Commencement speech of all time was delivered to Benedictine College by the Chiefs kicker.

Harrison Butker is a conservative Catholic kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs who, on May 11, 2024, gave a commencement speech to the graduates of Benedictine College.

He began by attacking Joe Biden, how he handled the pandemic and how he isn’t a true Catholic because of his pro-choice beliefs.

“Our own nation is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the Sign of the Cross during a pro-abortion rally.” He goes on to swipe at Biden’s “vocal” support for the “murder of innocent babies,” making him not a true Catholic.

Before starting the extremely sexist section of his speech, Butker quotes Taylor Swift: a feminist. He quoted her as his “teammate’s girlfriend,” completely disregarding her achievements and the empire she built for herself. He quoted her song “Bejeweled” which, ironically enough, is about a man tearing down a woman while she continues sparkling.

He also tore down the female graduates and how hard they worked. This completely robbed them of their day of celebration, after they had just spent the last four years of their life working to get a degree and hopefully live their dreams.

Daring to congratulate their accomplishments, Butker proceeds to inform the female graduates of the “diabolical lies” they have been told. “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? 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.”

Instead of any promotion or job achievement, he says women should dedicate their lives to becoming a wife and mother. Many women in that audience may have agreed, however, it is not the right of someone, especially a man, to tell women that they’re highest calling is homemaker.

Butker highlighted male dominance, saying that “as men, we set the tone of the culture.” He praised the male achievements and the shine they will certainly have in their future, soon after dulling the sharp blade of the female graduates’ hope.

To quote Taylor Swift: “I’m so sick of running as fast as I can, wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man.”

He referred to pride month that millions upon millions of people celebrate as “not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it…” Denouncing yet another thing as wrong and against what he believes are true human values.

This is not an article meant to attack Butker’s beliefs, recognizing that everyone is entitled to their own opinions. However, regardless of these beliefs, the quality of this commencement speech was below poor, it was appalling. Butker gave barely what I would call a speech, he gave his opinions and told other people how to live their lives. He judged and criticized people for personal decisions regarding gender orientation, partner preference and pre-marital sexual relations.

The nuns of Benedictine College have stated that Butker’s speech did not represent Catholicism within the school in the slightest. They were enraged at his comments on women’s worth and their need to become wives and mothers over anything else. The nuns said that previous women they’ve taught and led to graduation have gone on to become something remarkable, employing values of leadership and scholarship.

The NFL has done their best to cut any connection to this speech, and a petition to fire Butker from the Chiefs has gained just about 200,000 signatures.

Butker used this opportunity as a platform to judge others and anyone who didn’t agree with him.

Harrison Butker gave the worst commencement speech of all time.

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About the Contributor
Payton Sly
Payton Sly, Journalist
Payton is a sophomore at Community. This is her first semester on staff. She enjoys traveling to new places. China is one of her favorite destinations, where she loves experiencing the culture, language, and food. Payton has studied Mandarin Chinese since 4th grade. In her free time, Payton can be found reading and listening to music.

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