Petition calling for Chiefs to ax Harrison Butker slammed as ‘un-American’

NEW YORK — A petition calling on the Kansas City Chiefs to kick Harrison Butker off the team is being slammed by some as “un-American.”

The petition, which came in the wake of Butker’s controversial commencement address at Benedictine College last weekend, describes the 28-year-old kicker’s “dehumanizing” speech as “sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist.”

As of Saturday afternoon, the petition had already racked up more than 202,000 signatures since it went live on Monday.

Many on the internet — as well as the nuns associated with the Catholic college in Atchison, Kan. — have called out the three-time Super Bowl champ, who in his address condemned Pride month and abortion, bemoaned diversity initiatives, and encouraged women to prioritize getting married and having kids over pursuing careers.

The sisters of Mount St. Scholastica, for instance, took Butker to task for opting against “promoting unity in our church, our nation, and the world,” noting that his comments “have fostered division.”

“One of our concerns was the assertion that being a homemaker is the highest calling for a woman,” their statement read. “We sisters have dedicated our lives to God and God’s people, including the many women whom we have taught and influenced during the past 160 years. These women have made a tremendous difference in the world in their roles as wives and mothers and through their God-given gifts in leadership, scholarship, and their careers.”

But some, including ESPN NFL broadcaster Sam Ponder, have ripped the petition to fire Butker as “totally un-American.”

“Is a Catholic espousing traditionally Catholic views to a Catholic audience really that shocking?” Ponder wrote on her Instagram Story Friday. “Why can’t we just respectfully disagree?!”

Ponder agreed that “most women are more excited/proud of their families than their day jobs,” and said that while she loves her career, “it’s not even comparable to how I feel about being a mom.”

“When did that become offensive?” she asked.

However, Ponder did say she disagreed with a few things in Butker’s speech, namely that she does “not think my life ‘began’ when I became a wife and mom” — something Butker said was the case for his wife.

But regardless of where their opinions may differ, Ponder said she was “so proud to be an American where he can share his beliefs openly.”

Gracie Hunt, the daughter of Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt, also pushed back against calls to remove Butker during an appearance on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, pointing to her own “really formative” experience having a mother who was a homemaker.

“I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he’s accomplished on and off the field,” Hunt said.

The NFL responded to the controversy on Wednesday, saying Butker’s “views are not those of the NFL” and that the organization remains “steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger.”

The Chiefs have not publicly commented.