Harrison Butker is facing fierce backlash for his remarks on women, abortion and Pride Month

A Change.org petition demanding the release of Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker from the team and NFL has gone viral in wake of his controversial graduation speech at a private college in Kansas.

Butker, an outspoken Catholic and married father-of-two, congratulated the women receiving their degrees at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, last weekend, and said most of them were probably more excited about getting married, having children and staying at home to raise them, rather than establishing their careers.  

He also assailed Pride month, a particularly important time for the LGBTQ+ rights movement, and President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion. 

But now, the 28-year-old, three-time Super Bowl champion finds himself in hot water over his comments, as more than 70,000 signatures have been gathered to end his seven-season association with the Chiefs. The number surged on Wednesday evening, from 30,000 to over twice as high in a matter of hours.

Over 25,000 people signed it on Wednesday alone. The petition’s projected goal is 50,000 signatures.  

Harrison Butker is facing fierce backlash for his remarks on women, abortion and Pride Month

Harrison Butker is facing fierce backlash for his remarks on women, abortion and Pride Month

Butker, pictured with wife Isabelle, said women should aspire to be mothers and stay at home

Butker, pictured with wife Isabelle, said women should aspire to be mothers and stay at home

Butker - a 2017 seventh round pick - has become of the NFL’s best kickers, and is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Chiefs

Butker – a 2017 seventh round pick – has become of the NFL’s best kickers, and is a three-time Super Bowl champion with the Chiefs

Its description says: ‘The harmful remarks made by Harrison Butker, kicker of the Kansas City Chiefs, during his commencement address at Benedictine College were unacceptable. 

‘His comments were sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist. These dehumanizing remarks against LGBTQ+ individuals, attacks on abortion rights and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights. 

‘These comments reinforce harmful stereotypes that threaten social progress. They create a toxic environment that hinders our collective efforts towards equality, diversity and inclusion in society. It is unacceptable for such a public figure to use their platform to foster harm rather than unity. 

‘It’s important to note that these types of discriminatory attitudes contribute significantly towards societal issues such as hate crimes which have been on the rise in recent years (source: FBI Hate Crime Statistics). Furthermore, they can lead to increased mental health issues among targeted communities (source: American Psychological Association).

‘We demand accountability from our sports figures who should be role models promoting respect for all people regardless of their race, gender identity or sexual orientation. We call upon the Kansas City Chiefs management to dismiss Harrison Butker immediately for his inappropriate conduct. 

‘Please sign this petition if you stand with us against discrimination and believe in fostering an inclusive society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.’  

DailyMail.com has contacted the Kansas City Chiefs for comment over the petition and Butker’s comments.

Butker pictured with his two children after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl back in 2023

Butker pictured with his two children after the Chiefs won the Super Bowl back in 2023

Butker - a devoted, outspoken Catholic - is married with two children. Pictured with his family

Butker – a devoted, outspoken Catholic – is married with two children. Pictured with his family

The 2017 seventh-round pick out of Georgia Tech has become of the NFL’s best kickers, breaking the Chiefs’ franchise record with a 62-yard field goal in 2022. 

Butker helped them win their first Super Bowl in 50 years in 2020, added a second Lombardi Trophy in 2023, and he kicked the field goal that forced overtime in a Super Bowl win over San Francisco in February. 

It has been an embarrassing offseason for the Chiefs, though.

Last month, voters in Jackson County, Missouri, soundly rejected a ballot initiative that would have helped pay for an $800 million renovation to Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Chiefs. Many voters criticized the plan put forward by the Chiefs as catering primarily to VIPs and the wealthy.

The same week, wide receiver Rashee Rice turned himself in to Dallas police on multiple charges, including aggravated assault, after he was involved in a high-speed crash that left four people with injuries. 

Rice has acknowledged being the driver of one of the sports cars that was going in excess of 100 mph (160 kph).

Last week, law enforcement officials told The Dallas Morning News that Rice also was suspected of assaulting a person at a downtown nightclub. Dallas police did not name Rice as the suspect in detailing a report to The Associated Press.

Chiefs coach Andy Reid said he had spoken to the receiver and the team was letting the legal process play out.

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