Laura Rutledge discussing Harrison Butler on NFL Live Photo Credit: ESPN

Many in the sports media realm have had plenty to say about the highly controversial commencement speech given recently by Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker at a local Catholic liberal arts college in Kansas. And on Wednesday, ESPN’s Laura Rutledge, the host of NFL Live briefly offered her thoughts on the matter during the show.

The NFL Live crew was breaking down Butker’s teammate Patrick Mahomes, and his head coach Andy Reid speaking about the matter, both defending him and his character from the scrutiny he is receiving.

ESPN NFL reporter Courtney Cronin, who was at both press conferences, was brought onto the show to summarize Mahomes’ and Reid’s thoughts when asked about Butker in their respective chats with reporters.

“Laura, I asked Patrick Mahomes for his reaction to the speech he has heard lots of over the last ten days since Harrison Butker gave that commencement address,” said Cronin. “And he pointed to the fact that he has known Harrison Butker as a teammate for seven years. And that while he doesn’t agree with everything (Butker) said in his speech, he looks at this the way Andy Reid does.

“That a locker room is a microcosm of society. And you are going to have people with different opinions that express them in different ways. But inside the Chiefs facility, it’s a safe space where they can have conversations about things that may be deemed controversial. Andy Reid said that he didn’t feel the need to talk to Harrison Butker about this considering he too has the belief that he is allowed to have whatever opinion he wants to have and that as long as it’s not causing a distraction on the football field, it’s not having a distraction in the locker room.”

Rutledge then offered a little dig at Butker’s views, expressing how “great” it is that both she and Cronin get to be women with careers.

“Certainly everyone is entitled to their own opinion as they said there today,” said Rutledge. “Courtney, I would just say my opinion is it’s really great that you and I get to be women with careers.”

It’s fairly understandable as to why Rutledge feels this way. She has been paving her way in the world of sports media, a male-dominated industry, for over a decade. Getting to host a premiere studio show like NFL Live, as well as her other responsibilities as the host of SEC Network’s college football pre-game show, is certainly no small feat.

Butker’s speech essentially told females that pursuing their careers is less meaningful than becoming a wife and a mother. And after this NFL Live segment, it sure seems like Laura Rutledge vehemently disagrees with that notion.

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About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.