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'I'm Standing Up for Him': Whoopi Goldberg Defends Kansas City Chiefs Kicker Harrison Butker After Commencement Speech Backlash

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Goldberg said she was 'okay' with Butker expressing his beliefs, regardless of backlash.

May 16 2024, Published 5:10 p.m. ET

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The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg defended Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker amid ongoing backlash from his commencement speech at Benedictine College, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Goldberg argued that while people do "not have to believe" or "accept" the NFL pro's beliefs, they should "respect" them.

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Critics have called on the Kansas City Chiefs to dismiss Butker over the commencement speech.

Butker came under fire when his commencement address at the Catholic university went viral. In his speech, the Chiefs kicker condemned Pride month, abortion rights, IVF, surrogacy, and women establishing careers over marriage and family.

As the NFL attempted to distance themselves from Butker's statements, outraged fans created a petition calling on the Kansas City Chiefs organization to "dismiss" the three-time Super Bowl winner from the team.

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Source: The View/Youtube

Goldberg defended Butker amid ongoing backlash.

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The View co-hosts discussed the ongoing controversy on Thursday's edition of the daytime talk show.

"Listen, I like when people say what they need to say. He’s at a Catholic college, he’s a staunch Catholic, these are his beliefs, and he’s welcome to them," Goldberg told her co-hosts.

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Goldberg argued people do not have to 'accept' Butker's beliefs but they should 'respect' them.

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After Goldberg explained people should "respect" Butker's beliefs regardless of how they may feel about his statements, she added, "We wanna give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours."

The comedian then compared recent backlash to Colin Kaepernick kneeling during the national anthem in 2016 as a form of protest against police brutality. Goldberg said people wanted the "same" respect back then for Kaepernick voicing his beliefs.

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Goldberg did not believe Butker should be released from the Chiefs over the controversy.

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"I’m OK with him saying whatever he says, and the women who were sitting there, if they take his advice, good for them, they’ll be happy. If they don’t, good for them, they’ll be happy in a different way," Goldberg continued. "That's my attitude."

As the audience applauded Goldberg, she added that the Chiefs shouldn't fire Butker over the controversy.

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"I have the right to say what I say. He has the right to say what he says," Goldberg explained. "When you say to somebody, ‘I don’t like what you said, and so I’m gonna get your job taken away, because you disagree with me,’ for me, that is an issue."

The Sister Act star also compared Butker being attacked for his comments to the hate she and her co-hosts receive for their remarks on the talk show.

"It happens to us all the time! That is why I am standing up for him saying –– I don’t understand what he’s talking about, because I’m not that Catholic –– but I have to say, just like I have my opinions, we have our opinions."

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