Travis Kelce responds to teammate quoting Taylor Swift in controversial commencement speech

Travis Kelce has said he did not agree with “just about any” of his teammate Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech in which he quoted Taylor Swift.

On May 11, Butker, the kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs, delivered a commencement speech at Benedictine College’s graduation ceremony, which sparked a backlash on social media.

In it, he quoted a lyric from Swift’s song ‘Bejeweled’ (from 2022’s ‘Midnights’): “As my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘familiarity breeds contempt’,” he said, before directly addressing the women in the room.

“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.”


Butker continued: “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.”

And now Kelce, who plays tight end for the Chiefs and is in a high-profile relationship with Swift, has addressed the speech on his New Heights podcast with his brother Jason. Watch his comments below, starting at 24 minutes:

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Kelce explained that Butker is his friend and he “cherishes him as a teammate”, but was quick to distance himself from the sentiments expressed in the speech.

“When it comes down to his views and what he said at the St. Benedict’s commencement speech… Those are his, I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it,” he said.

“Outside of him loving his family and his kids. I don’t think I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views. … I grew up in a beautiful upbringing of different social classes, different religions, different races and ethnicities in Cleveland Heights.”

Kelce went on to say that he was proud of the fact that his mother as well as his father provided for his family. “They were homemakers and they were providers and they were unbelievable at being present every single day in my life,” he said.


Later in his speech, Butker also went on to address the male graduates by advising them to “be unapologetic in your masculinity” and to “fight against the cultural emasculation of men”. He also hit out at the LGBTQ+ community, calling their pride “deadly sins”.

The speech drew outcries from several places, including Swift fans, and the NFL itself, whose senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer said: “Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity. His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”