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Harrison Butker of the Kansas City Chiefs speaks to the media during Super Bowl LVIII Opening Night at Allegiant Stadium on February 5, 2024, in Las Vegas, NevadaPhoto by Chris Unger/Getty Images

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (LifeSiteNews) — In his first public appearance since enduring relentless attacks from mainstream media outlets for his pro-family commencement address last week, Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker Harrison Butker showed no sign of backing down, declaring that the “shocking level of hate” is a clear sign that “timeless Catholic values are hated by many.”  

The three-time Super Bowl champion delivered his latest remarks at a fundraising event in Nashville for the Regina Caeli Academy (RCA), a classical preK-12 homeschool hybrid for Catholic families. Butker serves on the academy’s board.  

“The theme for tonight’s gala, ‘Courage Under Fire,’ was decided many months ago,” began the tuxedoed Butker, “but it now feels providential that this would be the theme after what we have all witnessed these past two weeks.”   

“If it wasn’t clear that the timeless Catholic values are hated by many, it is now,” he said, referring to the storm of criticism against his earlier speech at Benedictine College.   

‘It is not people, but Jesus Christ who I am trying to please’ 

During last week’s 20-minute address at Benedictine, Butker unapologetically pushed back against abortion as well as so-called Pride Month, which he called a “deadly sin.” He singled out President Joe Biden, cowardly U.S. Catholic bishops, and “people pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.”  

Butker also addressed himself to female graduates specifically, warning them to be aware of the “diabolical lies” the world tells them about putting their job ahead of their family.  

“The more I’ve talked about what I value most – which is my Catholic faith – the more polarizing I have become,” explained Butker in his address last night to the RCA. “It’s a decision I’ve consciously made, and one I do not regret at all.” 

“If we have truth and charity, we should trust in the Lord’s providence and let the holy Ghost do the rest of the work,” he continued to loud applause from the crowd.  “Our love for Jesus, and thus our desire to speak out, should never be outweighed by the longing of our fallen nature to be loved by the world. Glorifying God, and not ourselves, should always remain our motivation despite any pushback or even support.” 

“It is not people, but Jesus Christ who I am trying to please,” he added.  

“If heaven is our goal, we should embrace our cross, however large or small it may be, and live our life with joy, to be a bold witness for Christ,” declared Butker, adding that he hoped that “many more will be unapologetic of their Catholic faith and never be afraid to speak out for truth, even when it goes against the loudest voices.”   

A LifeSiteNews petition supporting Butker has garnered more than 20,000 signatures in less than a week after being launched.   

A growing number of clergy, including Bishop Joseph Strickland, San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone, as well as prominent lay persons like former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz have expressed support for Butker in recent days. His red number 7 jersey has become a best-seller.  

A devout Catholic who exclusively attends the Latin Mass, Butker, the 28-year-old father of two was signed by the Chiefs in 2017 after being waived by the Carolina Panthers. The franchise won its third Super Bowl in five years in 2024. He has constantly given “glory to God” after his many impressive performances.