Entertainment

Bill Maher Doesn’t Understand Harrison Butker’s Speech Criticism

Bill Maher admitted he was confused on the latest episode of Real Time about the controversy surrounding Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker‘s commencement speech at Benedictine College.

This week, the NFL player was criticized across social media over his graduation speech at the private Catholic school, which included comments condemning abortion, euthanasia, IVF, surrogacy and the LGBTQ community. He also made some remarks directed towards women in the crowd, suggesting they should embrace being a “homemaker.”

Maher initially emphasized “how much this guy is not like me,” noting Butker’s “religious, he loves marriage, he loves kids,” — all things the comedian has publicly expressed not having an interest in.

“Here’s a quote of his, ‘I’ve seen it firsthand how much happier someone can be when they disregard the outside noise and move closer and closer to God’s will,’” Maher said. “Yeah, not me. I couldn’t be more not like this.”

However, Maher went on to say he doesn’t understand the backlash regarding Butker’s comments that were directed toward women during his speech.

“I don’t get the thing he said, talking to women, ‘Some of you may go on to lead successful careers in the world.’ OK, that seems fairly modern,” Maher said before continuing to read the football player’s remarks. “‘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.’ I don’t see what the big crime is, I really don’t.”

Maher explained, “I think this is part of the problem people have with the left, is that lots of people in this country are like this. Like he’s saying some of you may go on to successful careers, but a lot of you are excited about this other way that people, everybody used to be and now can. Can’t that just be a choice too? And I feel like they feel very put upon like there’s only one way to be a good person and that’s to get an advanced degree from one of those asphalt factories like Harvard.”

The comedian isn’t the only person in Hollywood to come to Butker‘s defense amid the controversy. On Thursday’s episode of The View, Whoopi Goldberg defended the Chiefs player’s right to free speech, even if she doesn’t share his beliefs.

“I like when people say what they need to say,” the EGOT winner said. “He’s at a Catholic college, he’s a staunch Catholic. These are his beliefs and he’s welcome to them. I don’t have to believe them, I don’t have to accept them, the ladies that were sitting in that audience don’t have to accept them.”

Goldberg continued, “The same way we want respect when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours because the man who says he wants to be president, You-Know-Who, he says the way to act is to take away people’s right to say how they feel. We don’t want to be that. We don’t want to be those people.”

Amid the viral backlash, the NFL clarified in a statement this week that Butker‘s “views are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

At the end of the discussion on Real Time, Maher added, “I find it very ironic that he’s saying, you know what, in my world, we like the women to stay at home and just have babies, and the college kids and the young people find this absolutely abhorrent, but they’re demonstrating for Hamas.”

The guests featured on the latest episode included Michael Eric Dyson, Nellie Bowles and Pamela Paul.


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