Sunday, June 16, 2024

Travis Kelce Defends Harrison Butker, Claims He’s a ‘Great Person’

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When Travis Kelce defends Harrison Butker, does he make Harrison look better?

Or does Travis make himself look worse?

Unfortunately, it is once again time to talk about Travis Kelce’s awful teammate, Harrison Butker.

It’s one thing to (needlessly) defend someone’s right to say awful things. But Travis is taking things further than that.

Harrison Butker in February of 2024.
Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Kansas City Chiefs media availability ahead of Super Bowl LVIII at Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa on February 08, 2024. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Travis Kelce is actually defending Harrison Butker

On Friday, May 24, Travis Kelce spoke about his now-notorious teammate, Harrison Butker, on the New Heights podcast that he shares with his brother, Jason Kelce.

This is the first time that Travis Kelce has spoken about Harrison Butker’s Benedictine College speech since the man spewed hatred and misogyny from a podium earlier in May.

Many people hoped that Taylor Swift’s boyfriend would call out Butker. But it seems that Kelce has chosen another path.

Travis Kelce at Kelce Jam in 2024.Travis Kelce at Kelce Jam in 2024.
Travis Kelce interacts with fans during Kelce Jam 2024 at Azura Amphitheater on May 18, 2024. (Photo Credit: Fernando Leon/Getty Images)

Remember, not only did Butker spew misogyny and homophobia, he also mentioned Taylor Swift — referring to her as “my teammate’s girlfriend.”

As if being a billionaire, Grammy-winning, record-breaking superstar wasn’t enough!

Despite this, Travis Kelce has outlandishly referred to his teammate (Butker is a “kicker” on the team) as a “great person and a great teammate.”

Kelce emphasized that he doesn’t agree with “just about any of” the abhorrent things that came spewing out of Butker’s mouth. But apparently Kelce’s one of those people who thinks that you can say despicable things and still be, somehow, a good person.

‘I cherish him as a teammate’

“I’ve known him for seven-plus years probably, eight-plus years,” Travis Kelce recalled of Butker. “And I cherish him as a teammate.”

He delved into the controversy: “When it comes down to his views and what he said at the [Benedictine College] commencement speech, you know, those are his.” Yes, that’s how views work.

“I can’t say I agree with the majority of it — or, just about any of it,” Kelce admitted. “Outside of just him loving his family and his kids.”

Harrison Butker in February of 2024.Harrison Butker in February of 2024.
Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs arrives before Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024. (Photo Credit: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Travis Kelce then went on to explain: “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.”

One does then have to ask about the basis on which Kelce does judge someone. There are people who solely evaluate someone’s character by how they, personally, treat them. That is tragically shortsighted.

Is Kelce someone who doesn’t care how a man treats others, so long as he’s polite to him?

Travis Kelce in February of 2024, celebrating his Super Bowl victory.Travis Kelce in February of 2024, celebrating his Super Bowl victory.
Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs waves to fans after defeating the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 during Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium on February 11, 2024. (Photo Credit: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Apparently, Harrison Butker being nice to Travis Kelce personally is enough for him

Kelce cited how Butker has always been kind to Kelce and to his friends and family. “That’s how he treats everyone,” Kelce argued.

Someone smiling and speaking politely in person is not the same as being nice. It’s just politeness.

This is a man who referred to women’s rights as “diabolical” while telling them to be stay-at-home moms. And he spewed hate about “the deadly sin sort of Pride that has an entire month dedicated to it” and “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.” None of that is kind or good.

Harrison Butker in early February of 2024.Harrison Butker in early February of 2024.
Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium on February 05, 2024. (Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Getty Images)

The NFL has decided against penalizing Butker. Commissioner Roger Goodell said something about the organization’s “diversity of opinions.” (Not to mix rotten apples with oranges, but was that the NFL’s stance when Colin Kaepernick got so much hell?)

If Travis Kelce had simply reminded everyone that Harrison Butker has a legal right to say loathsome, bigoted things, he’d have been right. It would be unnecessary (Butker is not in any legal trouble), but he’d have commented on it.

Instead, Kelce seems willing to believe that personal politeness can somehow override outspoken bigotry and vitriol. It cannot. There are impolite people who are good people. There are polite people who are utterly despicable. Clearly, Harrison Butker is the latter.

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