Screengrab: NBC Sports Boston

By now, most of the sports media has made their thoughts increasingly clear on Harrison Butker’s commencement speech at a private Kansas college, particularly his comments on “homemaking.”

While the Kansas City Chiefs kicker maintains his right to free speech and will be included in the team’s White House visit, his comments have drawn strong critiques from many across the media, from Lisa Guerrero to Rich Eisen and his wife, Suzy Shuster.

But none of that criticism was perhaps as scathing as the remarks delivered by NBC Sports Boston’s Trenni Casey, who went in on Butker during one of her recent “Don’t @ Me” segments on the network.

“Harrison Butker isn’t nearly the talent or the star Colin Kaepernick once was, but he should be treated the same,” Casey said. “This time, it would actually be justified. Do not @ me on that. Contrary to what some may think, I strongly believe in free speech and the right to hold opinions different from my own. I also believe there are consequences for speaking out. But what I really believe is there is a big difference between an opinion and dehumanizing, hateful speech.

“We all deal with differences in opinions on a daily basis. One of our producers (at NBC Sports Boston), she hates doughnuts; many of us disagree with her. (NBC Sports Boston analyst) DJ Bean doesn’t really like Taylor Swift; I’m gonna go to another country to see one of her shows — different strokes for different folks.

“But even on more controversial and serious topics, I can stand an opinion that does not align with my own beliefs. I strongly believe in a woman’s right to choose. But my best friend from college — she’s a practicing Catholic — believes in the right to life. I love her and respect her despite our differences.

“Had Harrison Butker simply expressed his strong beliefs in the church’s pro-life movement, his opposition to assisted suicide, even IVF and surrogacy, there would’ve obviously been a backlash, but I wouldn’t have said a peep here because Butker is entitled to think differently. He’s allowed to align his views with the Catholic Church on sensitive topics — those are his opinions. But that is not what he did. Instead, the 28-year-old Chiefs kicker spent 20 minutes espousing the greatest hits of bigotry — anti-semitism, misogyny, homophobia, anti-diversity.

“We live in a country that since the Hamas attack on Israel, anti-semitic incidents are up 400%. Yet, Butker felt perfectly comfortable rolling out this trope, saying, ‘Congress just passed a bill where stating something as basic as the biblical teaching of who killed Jesus could land you in Jail.’ What Butker’s referring to is a bill in a congress that they proposed, which would affect funding on college campuses where anti-semitic language isn’t restricted. The trope he’s pushing? It’s the same one Nazis used during the Holocaust — arguing that the murder of six million Jews was punishment for the murder of Jesus by their ancestors. And it should be noted that the Catholic Church has already denounced this narrative back in 1964. Yet on Saturday, Butker was pushing the lie.

“He also made sure to get in an a jab at LGBTQ+ community, calling the kind of pride he has in a college like Benedictine shouldn’t be confused with the ‘deadly-sin kind of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it.’ And, of course, Butker’s favorite pastime — making sure everyone knows he thinks women are nothing more than vessels for children and wives to husbands. You’ve seen the clips; I’m not gonna spend any more time on his gibberish. I am so tired of people telling us those at the center of these dehumanized rants that we need to respect everyone’s opinion. No, we don’t, and we don’t have to tolerate it either.

“You are allowed to think differently than others. You’re not allowed to go out of your way to belittle, degrade and depict groups that don’t look like you as subhuman. That’s not an opinion; that is hate — plain and simple. Butker felt it was appropriate to quote a Taylor Swift song, but it should be noted he didn’t call her by name. He just referred to her as the ‘girlfriend of a teammate’ because that’s all she is in his mind. He chose to quote a song called ‘Bejeweled,’ but it feels inappropriate for Butker, who more closely aligns with the newer song she wrote, ‘The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived.’

Take that, Harrison.”

As for Casey, her fiery critique is just the latest in the ongoing barrage aimed at Butker. While he faces overwhelming criticism, some sports media figures like Samantha Steele Ponder and Chris Broussard have defended his right to express his religious beliefs, even if they don’t necessarily completely agree with the speech’s content.

At the same time, the NFL and the nuns at Benedictine College have distanced themselves from his speech. Regardless of your stance on Casey’s scathing remarks, this controversy is far from over, especially as discussions about free speech, religion, and the evolving landscape of women’s sports continue to be hot-button issues in an election cycle.

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About Sam Neumann

Since the beginning of 2023, Sam has been a staff writer for Awful Announcing and The Comeback. A 2021 graduate of Temple University, Sam is a Charlotte native, who currently calls Greenville, South Carolina his home. He also has a love/hate relationship with the New York Mets and Jets.