Travis Kelce Defends ‘Great Teammate’ Harrison Butker Despite Different Views Following Speech

Earlier this week, Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid were asked about Harrison Butker’s commencement speech that he gave earlier this month at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas.

On Friday, another prominent member of the Chiefs – TE Travis Kelce – publicly spoke about Butker and echoed the same sentiment as Mahomes and Reid.

“I cherish him as a teammate. I think Pat said it best where he is every bit of a great person and a great teammate,” Kelce said on the Friday episode of his “New Heights” podcast that he hosts with his brother, Jason Kelce.

“He’s treated family and family that I’ve introduced to him with nothing but respect and kindness. And that’s how he treats everyone. When it comes down to his views and what he said at Saint Benedict’s commencement speech, those are his. I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids. 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.”


Here’s the clip:

Kelce continued by bringing up his childhood in Ohio and how it influenced how he views others.

“I grew up in a beautiful upbringing of different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities, in Cleveland Heights, and that’s why I love Cleveland Heights for what it was,” he said.

“It showed me a broad spectrum, just a broad view of a lot of different walks of life. And I appreciated every single one of those people for different reasons, and I never once had to feel like I needed to judge them, based off of their beliefs.”

Kelce went on to share that both of his parents, Donna and Ed Kelce, provided for the family home.

“Both my mother and my father made home what it was,” the star NFL tight end continued. “They were homemakers and they were providers and they were unbelievable at being present every single day in my life. That was a beautiful upbringing for me. I don’t think everyone should do it the way that my parents did, but I certainly, sure as hell, thank my parents and love my parents for being able to provide and making sure that home was what it was because I’m not the same person without both of them being who they were in my life.”

Jason Kelce said he appreciates hearing from people who really know the person at the center of the story, while pointing out Butker delivered his speech in a religious environment.

“There’s always going to be opinions that everybody shares that you’re going to disagree with,” he said.

“And make no mistake about it, a lot of the things he said in his commencement speech are not things that I align myself with. But, he’s giving a commencement speech at a Catholic university, and, shocker, it ended up being a very religious and Catholic speech.

“To me, I can listen to somebody talk and take great value in it, like when he’s talking about the importance of family and the importance that a great mother can make, while also acknowledging that not everybody has to be a homemaker if that’s not what they want to do in life.”

Butker’s has been heavily scrutinized for speech with many women and members of the LGBTQ community speaking out against the Chiefs kicker. His teammates remain on his side as they understand that while they might agree with what he said, they understand that everyone comes from different backgrounds and carry different values.