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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

If you’re wondering about the title, there’s a social media trend going around that if a woman, walking alone, in a forest were to either come across a bear, or an adult man – what would she choose? The answer? The bear. And luckily enough, Harrison Butker has just chosen to demonstrate why. The Kansas City Chief’s kicker, teammate of Travis Kelce, spoke at the Benedictine College Graduation, in a 20-minute tirade that has brought the internet to a standstill. 

Starting off strong when speaking to a room full of graduate women, in 2024, Butker decided that it was the perfect setting in which to address the “diabolical lies” that women had been told about pursuing a career. “I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolic lies told to you,” Butker said. “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.” Referring to his own wife, Butker went on to state that: “her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother”. 

Butker also attacked the LGBTQ+ community, stating his praise for students embracing their religion with pride, but “not the deadly sin sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it”. 

Furthermore, Butker attacked President Joe Biden for making it appear “that you can be both Catholic and pro-choice”, and that the President is “delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally”. He went on to attack “abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia” as a product of “the pervasiveness of disorder”, and lambasted the “tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion”. 

Oh, and just to really get the Internet going, he quoted Taylor Swift, stating “because as my teammate’s girlfriend says, “familiarity breeds contempt”.

I think I need to take a breather after all of that. 

You won’t be surprised to hear that there has been widescale and substantial backlash, across the NFL and from fans of Taylor Swift. As of a day following the speech, the Kansas City Chiefs have not taken any action, nor issued any statements. A petition on Change.org for the team to revoke Butker’s contract has, at the time of writing, 40,000 signatures.  The NFL stated: ‘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.’

And on social media of course, the backlash has been absolutely perfect in its delivery. Once you’ve signed that petition, maybe go and have a look. 

So my thoughts? Why the hell do these irrelevant men keep popping up on a stage to belittle, attack, undermine and perpetuate hate towards communities and groups that have worked hard and fought bravely for their place in society? (hi Jo Koy yes we’re talking about you too). Some can call Butker’s speech a backlash to cancel culture, a defence of religion, whatever they want. But the basic facts are: Butker knows that with his job, he carries a degree of responsibility and accountability, in a sport that historically has dis-included and isolated women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. His comments cannot and must not go ignored because it sets a precedent for so many fans of the sport, and in wider society. Hate, bigotry and misogyny cannot go unchallenged. And judging by the momentum this backlash has gained, hopefully, it won’t. 

As for me, if you had told me that in 2024, I’d be taking a break from my exams to write an article on a man telling me that my degree is a waste of time and that my real vocation is to be a wife and a mother, I wouldn’t have believed you. And it’s why I will always choose the bear. 

Edited by: Anna Duffell

I’m in my first year at the University of Leeds studying International Relations. I am so proud to be a member of Her Campus and to be able to work alongside such fantastic, talented and supportive women. I love theatre and music, running, podcasts and travel, and of course writing!