Travis Kelce’s Teammate Harrison Butker Criticizes Working Women While Quoting Taylor Swift Song

In the same 20-minute commencement speech at Benedictine College in Kansas Saturday (May 11), Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker both discouraged female graduates from pursuing careers outside of homemaking while quoting objectively one of the world’s hardest-working career women: Taylor Swift, whom he referred to as “my teammate’s girlfriend.”


The 28-year-old athlete, who shares two children with wife Isabelle, also condemned President Joe Biden, abortion, birth control, Pride Month and “the cultural emasculation of men” during his controversial address at the Catholic liberal arts school, who shared the speech on its YouTube page. But it was while he was admonishing bishops who he says gain too much satisfaction “from the adulation they receive from their parishioners” and “become overly familiar” that he dropped in a line from the pop star’s Midnights single “Bejeweled.”

“This undue familiarity will prove to be problematic every time,” Butker said with a smile. “Because as my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’”

The teammate in question, of course, is tight end Travis Kelce, who has been dating Swift since last summer. In addition to championing the LGBTQ community, the 14-time Grammy winner has been open about her feminist beliefs — which probably don’t align with what Butker said next in the speech.

“For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” he continued. “I want to speak directly to you briefly, because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you.”

“How many of you are sitting here now, about to cross this stage, and are thinking about all of the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career?” Butker went on. “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 her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” he added, noting that homemaker is “one of the most important titles of all.” “Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you ask her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud without hesitation, and say, ‘Heck no.’”

Billboard has reached out to the Chiefs and NFL for comment.


The Chiefs have gained an army of new fans in the past year, thanks to Swift’s association with the team and her attendance at several games at Arrowhead Stadium over the course of the 2023-24 season. And while some people online have praised Butker for expressing his values during then commencement speech, many of those same Swifties/football fans are taking to social media to slam the team’s kicker.

“Harrison Butker gave a misogynistic, homophobic, and transphobic commencement speech and then quoted Taylor Swift?” one person tweeted. “Dude. That’s so messed up.”

“I dare Harrison Butker to tell Taylor Swift she has no value unless she is a wife, mother, and homemaker,” wrote another fan.

See more reactions below.

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