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Patricia Heaton Defends Harrison Butker’s Comments About Women: ‘Everybody Just Calm Down’

2019 CBS Upfront Patricia Heaton
Patricia Heaton. (Photo by Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images)

Patricia Heaton came to the defense of Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker following his controversial graduation speech at Benedictine College earlier this month.

Posted with the caption, “Everybody just calm down,” Heaton shared a video via Instagram on Saturday, May 18, wherein she defends comments Butker, 28, made in his speech about the role of women in society as “homemakers,” encouraging female graduates to give up their careers to become stay-at-home mothers.

“I don’t understand why everyone’s knickers are in a twist,” Heaton said in her video. “[Butker] gave a commencement speech, the audience applauded twice during the speech and gave him a standing ovation at the end. So, clearly, they enjoyed what he was saying. The guy is espousing his own opinions and Catholic doctrine. So what? It’s his opinion. He can have one. He’s allowed. He’s not a monster for stating what he believes. He went after bishops much more than he went after women or what women’s choices are or what he thinks they should be. So, I don’t understand.”

Butker delivered the commencement speech for Kansas’ Benedictine College on May 11. In his speech, he not only railed against women in the workforce but also against LGBTQIA+ pride, abortion access, and even against IVF and surrogacy as family planning methods.

“I am a Catholic woman, who worked through my kids’ childhood and I believe God opened those doors for me,” Heaton continued. “Thankfully, it was a schedule that allowed me to also be a full-time mom, basically. I find nothing offensive about what he said even though my life is very different. He might even look at my life and say that’s not the way it should be. That’s OK. That’s his opinion.”

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She concluded, “I’m just curious as to why people get ‘offended.’ If you have made choices in your life and you feel those are the right choices and you’re comfortable and they’re working out for you and your family, great. And if they’re different from his, that’s great. You do you. He’ll do him. Relax, everybody.”

In his speech, Butker addressed “the ladies present” at the Benedictine graduation ceremony, saying that they have had “the most diabolical lies told to [them].”

“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,” he said. Butker went on to bring up his wife, Isabelle, who he said would be “the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.” He also credited her as the reason he is “the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation.”

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While Heaton came to Butker’s defense as a Catholic woman, the nuns of Benedictine College couldn’t say the same and have since condemned the Super Bowl champion’s commencement address.

“The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica do not believe that Harrison Butker’s comments in his 2024 Benedictine College commencement address represent the Catholic, Benedictine, liberal arts college that our founders envisioned and in which we have been so invested,” the sisters wrote in a statement released via Facebook on Thursday, May 16.

“We want to be known as an inclusive, welcoming community, embracing Benedictine values that have endured for more than 1500 years and have spread through every continent and nation,” the statement continued. “We believe those values are the core of Benedictine College.”

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