- The Washington Times - Friday, May 17, 2024

Harrison Butker’s No. 7 jersey is flying off the rack this week while his fans cheer and his distractors boo at the content of his Benedictine College commencement speech.

The Kansas City Chiefs’ kicker, a devout Catholic, spoke Saturday at the religious school in Atchison, Kansas, decrying “the tyranny of diversity, equity and inclusion,” the “deadly sins sort of pride that has an entire month dedicated to it” and the “diabolic lies” told to women regarding careers and motherhood.

His speech drew a standing ovation at the event and kudos online, but also an outcry from activists, who started a petition on Change.org to get him cut from the team, and a public disagreement from the NFL, which said that “his views are not those of the NFL as an organization” and that the league remains committed to “inclusion.” 

Others took to the NFL Shop instead of social media and proceeded to spike his jersey sales.

As of Friday, the kicker’s jersey was rated among the most popular sold on the official online NFL store, ranking up there with star offensive talents like Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, San Francisco 49ers running back Christian McCaffrey and another rusher, Saquon Barkley, who left the New York Giants for the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason.

Sales of Butker’s jersey also jumped locally. At one Rally House in Kansas City, Missouri, his merchandise was more in demand than either of his superstar teammates, Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce.

“My first two phone calls were about jerseys, T-shirts, jerseys, anything we had Butker-wise. He has sold more than Kelce and Mahomes today — just the demand after the speech, it’s been men and women — it’s been both calling to get his jersey,” store manager Aaron Lewis told KCTV.

• Brad Matthews can be reached at bmatthews@washingtontimes.com.

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