Hoda Kotb, Jenna Bush Hager rip Harrison Butker for commencement speech remarks: ‘Don’t speak for us!’

May 16, 2024 | Latest News | 0 comments

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“Today with Hoda & Jenna” saw co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager rip Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker for his faith-based commencement speech at Benedictine College this past Saturday. 

Butker is being attacked for expressing his beliefs at the private Catholic liberal arts college outside Kansas City, where he made a remark directed at female graduates, calling on them to embrace their “vocation” as a “homemaker.”

In their Thursday episode, Kotb and Hager were very stern with their response.

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“Don’t speak for us!,” Kotb, 59, said. “That’s the thing, stop speaking for women out there.”

Hager gave her opinion as well. 

“Well, I’m where I am today because I have a husband who leans into his vocation, which is being an equal partner, and I tell him that all of the time.

“I would just say this, we have all of these people that try to divide us by labels… people that stay at home are amazing, the work they do is incredible and let’s not compare one to the other, by a man!”

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The exchange between the co-hosts continued, where Kotb said, “And there are lots of women who actually would like to stay at home, but because they need to earn money, they don’t even have that privilege.”

“I just think divisive commentary that makes women feel like they are better doing one thing than the other is not what we need,” Hager added. 

Hager also described a situation regarding her husband, Henry, where she was “so upset” after being “fired up about something.” 

“I went straight to host my baby sister’s baby shower, then home to Henry. On the way home, I was [doing] parenting logistics and stuff going on with kids, and I got home and I’m like, ‘I am so upset.’

“He was steady and solid. I said I felt untethered and, ‘You steadied me and I am so thankful that I have you.’ And what about that! Women, go find the man that helps you get all of this stuff accomplished.”

Here’s what Butker had to say at one point during his 20-minute commencement speech. 

“For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” he began. “You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. I want to speak directly to you briefly, because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you. How many of you are sitting here now, about to cross this stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? 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.

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“I can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I’m on this stage today and able to be the man that I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation. I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

Butker would also condemn Pride Month in his speech, saying it is a “deadly sin sort of pride that has a month dedicated to it.” He also took a jab at President Biden’s “delusional” stance on abortion. 

The Associated Press reported Butker received a standing ovation from graduates and others in attendance at the commencement on Saturday. 

While the Chiefs have not commented on Butker’s speech, the NFL issued an apology, condemning the speech while reiterating their stance on inclusion. 

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, the league’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said. “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.”

Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.

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