Colton Underwood Says the NFL’s Response to Harrison Butker Was ‘Not Surprising’ (Exclusive)

After Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement address was barely met with a slap on the wrist, Colton Underwood argued that the NFL’s lack of response was entirely predictable.

The former Bachelor — who played defensive end at Illinois State and was later signed by the San Diego Chargers in 2014 — addressed the NFL’s relative lack of response to Butker’s speech last month, in which he called on women to embrace the role of “homemaker” and equated Pride Month to “deadly sin.”

“It is not surprising to me,” Underwood, 32, exclusively told Us Weekly. “Look, I’ve been a part of it. At the end of the day, they’re making a business decision. I think that is what needs to be said. The NFL, as much as it is a sport, it’s an entertainment business.”

Underwood — who recently partnered with Pressed Juicery to promote their limited edition PRIDE Pack — continued, “These contracts are bigger than any other TV show. These broadcast deals are massive. Their reach is global now.”

Colton Underwood Says the NFLs Response to Harrison Butker Was Not Surprising:

In the aftermath of Butker’s May 11 speech at Benedictine College, petitions garnering hundreds of thousands of signatures calling for the kicker’s release from the Kansas City Chiefs were created.

However, when NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell was asked to comment, he said the league values “a diversity of opinions and thoughts just like America does.” Butker’s coach Andy Reid said “we all respect each other’s opinions” when asked about the commencement address.

Last week, Butker, 28, accompanied his Chiefs teammates on a visit to the White House where they met President Joe Biden, who Butker called out for “supporting the murder of innocent babies” in his speech.

Underwood decried the support of Butker, saying, “When you have a platform and you have that reach, you have to set an example.”

“While you do have the freedom of speech, you also have to be prepared for the consequences that come with it,” he continued. “When you enable hate and when you tell somebody that they’re lesser than because of your beliefs, that’s where I have a problem with it.”

Colton Underwood Says the NFLs Response to Harrison Butker Was Not Surprising:

Underwood did give credit to Jonathan Beane, the NFL’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, who said in a statement that Butker’s views “are not those of the NFL as an organization.”

Regarding Butker’s comments about women, Underwood — who was also a member of the Oakland Raiders and Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squads — said “women can speak on their behalf, I don’t need to speak for any women out there,” but he does feel a responsibility to stand up for LGBTQIA+-identifying individuals who were upset with the speech and the lack of repercussions.

“I can speak for our community as someone who is, and always will be, attached to sports, especially football,” Underwood said. “It was extremely disappointing.”


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