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Harrison Butker’s ‘inaccurate, ill-informed and woefully out of step' sexist speech is fact-checked by GLAAD

Harrison Butker Hate Speech Fact Check
Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images

LGBTQ+ media advocacy group GLAAD issued a fact-check calling out some of the false and misleading things the ultra-conservative Kansas City Chiefs player said during a graduation ceremony.

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Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is under fire for his transphobic commencement address at Benedictine College in Kansas, where he made several controversial statements criticizing LGBTQ+ people, Pride Month, reproductive health care, and promoting outdated gender roles. Butker’s speech, which included remarks about gender identity and the importance of traditional masculinity, has been widely condemned by advocacy groups, including GLAAD, for spreading false information and perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

GLAAD has called these statements false and “out of step with Americans,” and has issued a fact-check.

Gender ideologies and Pride

During his Saturday speech, Butker criticized what he termed “dangerous gender ideologies” and described Pride as “the deadly sins sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it.” GLAAD points out the term “gender ideologies” is fabricated by anti-LGBTQ+ activists to deny the existence of transgender and other gender-diverse people. Pride has no official federal recognition but has expanded nationwide from the first community-organized events after the Stonewall riots 55 years ago this June. President Joe Biden has issued a Pride Month proclamation yearly since taking office. Additionally, GLAAD notes that 47 percent of U.S. adults support sports leagues hosting Pride Nights and events focused on inclusivity in athletics.

Gender roles

He also claimed women have been told “diabolic lies” and suggested that most women are more excited about marriage and children than their careers. GLAAD refuted this, pointing out that Benedictine College had three women among its five valedictorians, and a fourth woman was honored with a leadership award.

Additionally, Butker asserted that men set the tone of the culture and that the absence of men in the home leads to violence. GLAAD countered this claim, citing research that shows children of same-sex couples fare just as well as, if not better than, those of different-sex couples, particularly in educational settings.

LGBTQ+ visibility and faith

Then Butker criticized President Joe Biden and linked cultural representation in media with adverse life outcomes. GLAAD’s Accelerating Acceptance Study shows strong support for LGBTQ+ visibility in media, with seventy-five percent of non-LGBTQ adults feeling comfortable seeing LGBTQ people in advertisements, seventy-three percent in TV shows or movies, and sixty-eight percent seeing an LGBTQ family with children in an ad.

Butker also urged Catholics to speak out against the “tyranny of diversity, equity, and inclusion.” GLAAD highlighted research showing that DEI programs help companies recruit top talent, enhance innovation, and improve competitive position and brand perception. Furthermore, Pope Francis has taken more actions than any pope in history to support LGBTQ+ people and welcome them into the church. American Catholics have consistently supported marriage for same-sex couples at higher rates than the general population over the past two decades.

Earlier, GLAAD president and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis criticized Butker’s remarks in a statement to The Advocate.

She called his speech “inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people, and women.”

Ellis added, “Butker’s remarks undermine experiences not of his own and reveal him to be one who goes against his own team’s commitment to the Kansas City community, and the NFL’s standards for respect, inclusion, and diversity across the League.”

The Chiefs and the NFL Players Association did not respond to requests for comment.

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Christopher Wiggins

Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).
Christopher Wiggins is a senior national reporter for The Advocate. He has a rich career in storytelling and highlighting underrepresented voices. Growing up in a bilingual household in Germany, his German mother and U.S. Army father exposed him to diverse cultures early on, influencing his appreciation for varied perspectives and communication. His work in Washington, D.C., primarily covers the nexus of public policy, politics, law, and LGBTQ+ issues. Wiggins' reporting focuses on revealing lesser-known stories within the LGBTQ+ community. Key moments in his career include traveling with Vice President Kamala Harris and interviewing her in the West Wing about LGBTQ+ support. In addition to his national and political reporting, Wiggins represents The Advocate in the White House Press Pool and is a member of several professional journalistic organizations, including the White House Correspondents’ Association, Association of LGBTQ+ Journalists, and Society of Professional Journalists. His involvement in these groups highlights his commitment to ethical journalism and excellence in the field. Follow him on X/Twitter @CWNewser (https://twitter.com/CWNewser) and Threads @CWNewserDC (https://www.threads.net/@cwnewserdc).