Gay Ex-NFL Player Underwood Slams Butker’s LGBT Hate

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Former football player and TV personality Colton Underwood has taken a strong stand against Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s recent graduation speech at Benedictine College, which included disparaging remarks about Pride Month and the LGBT+ community.

In a candid Instagram Story posted on May 17, Underwood, 32, expressed his dismay at Butker’s comments, especially given the context of a commencement address. “Here’s what I’ll say about Harrison’s speech because I’ve seen a lot of comments say, ‘Well, he has the freedom of speech and this was at a Catholic institution.’ I get it and I get that his faith is very important to him,” Underwood began. “But, what I also understand is he has a responsibility having the platform that he does to choose to spend his time giving that speech to leave students feeling empowered and excited about taking on the next chapter of life.”

From Underwood’s Instagram

Butker, 28, delivered the commencement address earlier this month, where he made a pointed reference to the LGBT+ community, particularly targeting Pride Month. “Benedictine has gone from just another liberal arts school with nothing to set it apart to a thriving beacon of light,” Butker said. “I’m certain the reporters at the AP could not have imagined that their attempt to rebuke and embarrass places and people like those here at Benedictine wouldn’t be met with anger, but instead met with excitement and pride, not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it, but the true God-centered pride that is cooperating with the Holy Ghost to glorify him.”

Underwood, who publicly came out as gay in April 2021 and married political strategist Jordan C. Brown two years later, has become a vocal advocate for the LGBT+ community. In his response to Butker’s speech, Underwood highlighted the potential harm such comments could inflict on LGBT+ individuals. “To take a shot saying, ‘The deadly sins of pride,’ knowing that there’s at least one LGBTQ+ student — at least one out there — in that audience is just crippling to that human. To hear that their life is a deadly sin on a day that is supposed to be exciting?”

From Underwood’s Instagram

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Butker’s speech did not stop at criticizing Pride Month. He also attacked IVF and surrogacy as family planning methods and encouraged female graduates to abandon career aspirations in favor of becoming stay-at-home homemakers, stirring further controversy.

From Underwood’s Instagram

Underwood emphasized that Butker’s address was more divisive than uplifting. “[Harrison] should have used his time to not be divisive and be more positive,” he said. “There’s enough going on in our world right now that we need more love.”

In his Instagram caption, Underwood acknowledged Butker’s right to express his beliefs but underscored the responsibility that comes with such a platform. “You get to have your free speech but you also have to be prepared for the consequences when you [sic] words hurt people,” he wrote.

From Underwood’s Instagram

As of now, Butker has not publicly responded to the backlash regarding his speech. The incident has sparked a significant discussion about the responsibilities of public figures when addressing diverse audiences, especially during moments meant to celebrate and inspire new graduates.

Related: Colton Underwood Teases Possible LGBTQ+ Bachelor

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