Harrison Butker’s jersey among top sellers on NFL site

Harrison Butker’s jersey is listed among the top sellers on the NFL’s official merchandise website. The Kansas City Chiefs kicker drew criticism after a controversial commencement speech last week at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Kansas.

CBS News published a story on sales of Butker’s jersey online Friday. A check of nflshop.com by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday evening showed the same results. Butker’s jersey is pictured among more than 50 player jerseys including those of Texans quarterback C.J. Stroud, Bears quarterback Caleb Williams, Eagles running back Saquon Barkley and Chiefs teammates quarterback Patrick Mahomes and tight end Travis Kelce.

Butker’s jersey is also listed under the trending category in a top 10 with Aidan Hutchinson, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Barry Sanders, Drake Maye, Jahmyr Gibbs, Jared Goff, Will Anderson Jr., Stroud and Williams.

Butker, who is from Decatur and went to Westminster High and Georgia Tech, said during his speech that most of the women receiving degrees were probably more excited about getting married and having children. He also said some Catholic leaders were “pushing dangerous gender ideologies onto the youth of America.”

A representative of Butker’s team declined to comment on Friday when reached by the AJC.

The NFL is distancing itself from Butker.

“Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity,” Jonathan Beane, NFL senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said in a statement released Thursday. “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.”

The three-time Super Bowl champion delivered his roughly 20-minute address Saturday at the school in Atchison, Kansas, which is located about 60 miles north of Kansas City. He received a standing ovation from graduates and other attendees.

Butker, who’s made his conservative Catholic beliefs well known, also assailed Pride month and President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion.

“I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you,” Butker added 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. I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother,” he said.

Butker, 28, said his wife embraced “one of the most important titles of all. Homemaker.”

Butker received support from the wife of Chiefs owner Clark Hunt, Tavia Hunt.

She wrote, in part, in a lengthy social media post: “I’ve always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams. I want them to know that they can do whatever they want (that honors God). But I also want them to know that I believe finding a spouse who loves and honors you as or before himself and raising a family together is one of the greatest blessings this world has to offer. Studies show that committed, married couples with children are the happiest demographic, and this has been my experience as well.

“Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted. It is empowering to acknowledge that a woman’s hard work in raising children is not in vain.”

- The Associated Press contributed to this article.