Maria Shriver Calls Out Harrison Butker for “Demeaning” Graduation Speech

Maria Shriver took issue with Kansas City Chiefs player Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech, saying, “What point was Harrison Butker really trying to make to women.”

Maria Shriver is throwing a flag on Harrison Butker’s recent comments.

The journalist weighed in on the Kansas City Chiefs kicker’s eyebrow-raising commencement address at Benedictine College earlier this week, where he expressed his belief that women role should be in the home and not in the workplace.

“What point was Harrison Butker really trying to make to women in his graduation speech about their present day life choices?” Maria wrote on X, formerly Twitter, May 16. “Did he really want them, aka us, to believe that our lives truly only begin when we lean into the vocation of wife and mother?”

“Look, everyone has the right to free speech in our country,” she continued. “That’s the benefit of living in a democracy. But those of us who are women and who have a voice have the right to disagree with Butker.”

Maria—who shares kids Katherine, 34, Christina, 32, Patrick, 30, and Christopher, 26, with ex Arnold Schwarzenegger—touched on her own experience balancing her work as a journalist and a mom.

“As a woman who has leaned into my vocation of living a meaningful life and working inside and outside the home to not only raise good humans but also raise up our country in various ways, “she noted, “I think it’s demeaning to women to imply that their choices outside of wife and motherhood pale in comparison to that of homemaker.”

Maria Shriver

Maria also expressed a message to Harrison’s wife Isabelle—whom he mentioned in the May 11 address at the Kansas college—saying that while she is glad Isabelle is “happy in her chosen vocation,” she implores her to let her husband know that many women cannot afford to not work.

“I will not tell Mr. Butker to stick to kicking,” the 68-year-old added, “but I would suggest next time he speaks to women first and listen to someone with a clearer take on where most women find themselves in 2024.”

In the 20-minute speech, which has since sparked intense backlash online, Harrison shared a message directly at the women graduates.

“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?” Harrison asked in his speech. “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.”

Harrison Butker

He further shared his views on many issues, ranging from reproductive rights to COVID-19, and at one point referenced Taylor Swift—the girlfriend of his teammate Travis Kelce—by quoting her song “Bejeweled” while calling out certain religious figures.

The kicker even took aim at the LGBTQ+ community, calling Pride Month “the deadly sin sort of pride” and saying that the community promotes a “dangerous gender ideologies.”

Following his remarks, the NFL released a statement distancing itself.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” a spokesperson said in a statement to People May 15. “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.”

E! News reached out to reps for Swift, Butker and the Chiefs for comment but has yet to hear back.

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