KC Chief Harrison Butker Draws Comparisons To “Handmaid’s Tale” With Commencement Speech

People drew a chilling resemblance between Harrison Butker, the kicker for the Super Bowl champion, Kansas City Chiefs, and The Handmaid’s Tale’s Commander Waterford following his super controversial speech, where he reduced women to motherhood along with other questionable remarks.

Taking the stage at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, on Saturday, May 11, 2024, the NFL athlete criticized US President Joe Biden for “delusionally” expressing pride in his Catholic faith yet supporting “the murder of innocent babies” at pro-abortion rallies. 

In his speech, which was relayed on the National Catholic Register, Harrison, who’s made his conservative Catholic beliefs well known, addressed the “ladies and gentlemen of the class of 2024” before turning to “the ladies present.”

The 28-year-old sportsman told the female graduates: “You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives.”

Harrison Butker was compared to The Handmaid’s Tale’s Commander Waterford

Image credits: Benedictine College

“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 the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career

“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.”

Image credits: Benedictine College

Harrison went on to acknowledge that his life’s trajectory changed when he met his wife, Isabelle, a former basketball athlete who he described as his source of strength and support. 

The religious speaker attributed his success to her dedication to their family and her role as a homemaker and primary educator to their children. 

“I say all of this to you because I have seen it firsthand how much happier someone can be when they disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God’s will in their life,” Harrison added.

The Super Bowl champion kicker made a controversial speech where he reduced women to motherhood

Image credits: PlowOn

“Isabelle’s dream of having a career might not have come true, but if you asked her today if she has any regrets on her decision, she would laugh out loud, without hesitation, and say, ‘Heck, no.’”

Harrisson then encouraged the male graduates to “be unapologetic in your masculinity, fighting against the cultural emasculation of men.”

Clips of his speech quickly became viral on social media, with many people accusing him of being misogynistic and even labeling him “one of the most hated men in North America.”

But perhaps one of the most compelling criticisms against Harrison was the parallel people drew between him and The Handmaid’s Tale’s Commander Waterford.

Image credits: IMDB/Hulu

The 1985 futuristic dystopian novel written by Canadian author Margaret Atwood, which has been adapted into an award-winning TV series of the same name, is set in a future society called Gilead, where women’s rights have been severely restricted. 

The story follows Offred (played by Elisabeth Moss in the series), a Handmaid whose sole purpose is to bear children for the ruling class through mandated rapes. 

Offred’s name signifies her position as belonging to Commander Fred Waterford, a high-ranking official in the authoritarian regime of Gilead. 

The commander is portrayed as a complex and manipulative figure who wields significant power within the society. Moreover, he represents the hypocrisy and corruption inherent in the oppressive regime of Gilead.

“I would venture to guess that the majority of you are most excited about your marriage and the children,” Harrison said

Image credits: RABBITISH1

It didn’t take long before memes and videos of Harrison and Commander Waterford appeared side by side or were juxtaposed in elaborate and eerie ways.

“Please keep Harrison Butker aka Fred Waterford quiet. Although we love the mansplaining we prefer he just stfu,” someone wrote on X (formerly known as Twitter).

Another X user wrote: “No, Harrison Butker didn’t praise women or promote family values with his sexist bigoted speech, he told women that serving a man like a Handmaid is all they should aspire to do in life, this whilst attacking LGBTQ+ people in the process. 

“What a small s***bag piece of s**t he is.”

Image credits: IMDB/Hulu

A person commented: “This speech is straight out of The Handmaid’s Tale. Creepy AF. 

“It is 2024 and the misogyny and homophobia is still evidently loud & proud. So disgusting.”

“If I hadn’t read The Handmaid’s Tale, I would have thought that Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was a passage from The Handmaid’s Tale. But it’s not,” an observer noted.

An additional commentator penned: “Harrison Butker is the kind of guy who watches The Handmaid’s Tale and thinks ‘that June character is a real nuisance, but such a well-written villain.’”

In the dystopia, Offred’s real name is June Osbourne.

Commander Waterford is a high-ranking official in Gilead, where Handmaids bear children for the ruling class through mandated rapes

@duhfootball Harrison Butker’s speech was giving Under His Eye. #harrisonbutker #kansascitychiefs #handmaidstale #commencement #benedictinecollege #humor #meme ♬ original sound – Duh Football

A separate individual chimed in: “I wouldn’t be surprised if Harrison Butker takes off this NFL season to star as a Gilead commander in season six of The Handmaid’s Tale.”

The backlash prompted a petition calling for the Kansas City Chiefs to kick Harrison off the team.

The Change.org petition, started by Willard Harris, has more than 170,348 signatures and counting as of Friday at 10 am CET.

“The harmful remarks made by Harrison Butker, kicker of the Kansas City Chiefs, during his commencement address at Benedictine College were unacceptable,” Willard wrote.

He continued: “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.”

The petitioner went on to argue that the athlete perpetuated harmful stereotypes and hindered progress toward equality and inclusion. 

He consequently demanded accountability, urging the Kansas City Chiefs management to take immediate action. 

On Wednesday (May 15), the league itself disavowed Harrison’s comments, saying in part in a statement to People that his “views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

On Thursday (May 16), former First Lady of California Maria Shriver slammed the speech, joining a growing celebrity chorus of those who are standing up for women’s rights, including rapper Flavor Flav, People reported.

Handmaid’s Tale is coming, ladies,” a reader commented

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