Travis Kelce’s Reaction To Harrison Butker Aren’t What Taylor Swift Fans Hoped For

May 25, 2024

Travis Kelce
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So far in 2024, Travis Kelce had been making perhaps the most off-season headlines of any Kansas City Chiefs player, thanks to Travis’s relationship with Taylor Swift. But in May, he may have been surpassed by kicker Harrison Butker whose speech at the May 11 commencement ceremony for Benedictine College went viral. Butker’s speech touched on several hot-button issues from abortion to COVID lockdowns to men’s and women’s “rightful” (well, what he thought was rightful) positions in life

Critics slammed Butker’s speech online, with some calling it misogynistic, and one frequently referenced section by critics was when Butker spoke to the women in the audience, saying that they “have had the most diabolical lies told to you. […] 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” (via Today).

On an episode of the “New Heights” podcast, Jason Kelce asked Travis about the speech. While Swifties may have been hoping for a full-throated denouncement of some of the more problematic aspects of Butker’s commencement address, Travis took the diplomatic route. “I can’t say I agree with the majority of it or just about any of it outside of just him loving his family and his kids,” Travis said, “and I don’t think that I should judge him by his views, especially his religious views, of how to go about life, that’s just not who I am.”

Travis Kelce isn’t going to throw his teammate under the bus

Travis Kelce at the CMT Awards red carpet
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As the conversation on the “New Heights” podcast continued between Travis and Jason Kelce about the Harrison Butker commencement speech, they seemed to be of the mindset that you’re not going to agree with everything that everyone else thinks, but you can still work with them. In the NFL, Travis said, “you get so many different walks of life, you get so many different beliefs,” but that they are still able to come together and do the job. Travis’s response was similar to that of Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback — for them, Butker’s a good guy and a good teammate, but they don’t agree with all his life perspectives.

Travis’s comments garnered more backlash from some people online, and some seemed to think that Taylor Swift was somehow involved in Travis’s response. But quite a few people seemed impressed with how Travis reacted to the situation. One person posted on X, “A very mature response. Glad to see teammates not attempting to cancel Harrison. Bottom line, the school chose Harrison to give the speech knowing his views, it’s obviously what they wanted.”

Some Swifties aren’t happy with Harrison Butker’s views

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce on the field after the Super Bowl
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Travis Kelce addressed the issue of Harrison Butker’s controversial comments from a tactful perspective. However, others seem angrier over Butker’s views, and since turnabout is fair play, they’ve used some of Taylor Swift’s lyrics against him. Butker referenced a line from Swift’s song “Bejeweled” in the speech, saying “as my teammate’s girlfriend says, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt,'” via Today. Swift has, notably, worked to build her own career, which could seem counter to what Butker said in his speech about a woman’s calling in life, “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.”

In response, Swift’s fans have been referencing “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived” from Swift’s “The Tortured Poets Department” era to counter Butker and voice their displeasure with his perspective. One person suggested on X that opposing teams play the song when Butker takes the field. NBC Sports Boston anchor Trenni Casey used the song title in her on-air response to the situation where she made it quite clear that Butker’s commencement comments went beyond just an acceptable difference in opinion, per TikTok.

Swift hasn’t yet commented on Butker’s speech, and she might be staying out of it entirely. She has been rather busy — Swift has been performing her newly revamped Eras Tour concerts in Europe as the uproar over Butker’s speech continues.