The NFL has separated itself from the Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker as a result of his conservative comments.

On 11 May, the 28-year-old football player delivered a commencement speech for the 2024 graduating class of Benedictine College.

During his 20-minute speech, Butker made an array of shocking statements, with a portion of his remarks undermining women in the workforce. 

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you,” he said.

“I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.” 

Butker also made jabs toward the LGBTQIA+ community and Pride Month, claiming that the world leaders were “pushing dangerous ideologies onto the youth of America” and praising Benedictine students for having pride in their faith before adding, “[but] not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it.” 

Lastly, the conservative athlete said abortion, IVF, surrogacy euthanasia and “support for degenerate cultural values and media” come from the “pervasiveness of disorder” within the world. 

Over the last week, Butker has received immense backlash for his sexist and anti-LGBTQIA+ remarks on social media – with some users starting a petition to remove him as the Chiefs kicker. As of this writing, it has earned over 200,000 signatures. 

He’s even been slammed by Taylor Swift fans for quoting her track ‘Bejeweled’ to drive home his conservative talking points. 

In response to the backlash from Chiefs fans and beyond, the NFL released a statement distancing themselves from Butker’s sexist and anti-LGBTQIA+ speech.

@changedotorg A petition is calling on the Chiefs to dismiss kicker Harrison Butker for making several dehumanizing remarks during his commencement speech at Benedictine College on May 11th. Here’s what the three-time Super Bowl champion said about women, Pride Month, COVID, abortion, and more … If you want to read or sign the petition, head to our link in bio. #HarrisonButker #commencement #graduation #chiefs #nfl ♬ original sound –

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. His views are not those of the NFL organization,” Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a written statement to PEOPLE.

“The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.” 

The NFL wasn’t the only organisation to criticise Butker. On 18 May, the sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, a sponsor and founding institution of Benedictine College, released a statement slamming the kicker’s statement.

“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,” they wrote

“Instead of promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world, his comments seem to have fostered division.” 

The non-profit LGBTQIA+ organisation GLAAD also condemned Butker, releasing an extensive fact-check sheet debunking his comments.

“Traditionally, commencement speeches are meant to celebrate and inspire graduates and their families. Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker’s commencement speech was not only a clear miss, it was inaccurate, ill-informed, and woefully out of step with Americans about Pride, LGBTQ people and women,” said GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis in a speech. 

As of this writing, the Kansas City Chiefs have not officially commented on the situation.