Two-time NFL Super Bowl champion Harrison Butker had some inspiring words for Saturday’s 2023 graduating class at Georgia Institute of Technology.
Speaking to the class of his alma mater, the devout Catholic and father of two provided “hard truths” he knew might stir controversy amid his audience.
Butker kicked the winning field goal in the February 2023 Super Bowl, giving Kansas City their third-ever Super Bowl championship.
He stressed that throughout all the praise he receives, nothing compares to the joy and fulfillment he receives as a husband and father.
He explains that worldly praise and accomplishments do not fulfill the heart’s desires, but a relationship with God and service to his family are the ultimate satisfaction.
“All of this happiness is temporary and the truth is, none of these accomplishments mean anything compared to the happiness I have found in my marriage and in starting a family,” Butker said.
“My confidence as a husband and father, and yes, even as a football player is rooted in my marriage with my wife as we leave our mark on future generations by the children we bring into the world.”
The NFL champion also called out cancel culture and encouraged graduates to embrace disagreements at the risk of being silenced.
“For us to realize the full potential of our abilities, we must take risks at the expense of being silenced.
“There will always be critics and those that disagree with our viewpoints, however, if we shy away from confrontation, then the only voices left will be the ones with the most power.”
Butker later added that Georgia Tech’s Catholic Center left a lasting impact on his life and “laid the foundation” for “prioritizing meaningful relationships.”
“As a young man on this campus, it was the Catholic center that laid the foundation for me to prioritize meaningful relationships and become the husband and father I am today.
“While I’m still striving to be a better and more virtuous man, I’m confident that with God and with my wife by my side, I can do more than I ever could have imagined alone.”
Butker also left a counter-cultural statement many social media users discussed:
“I can offer one controversial antidote that I believe will have a lasting impact for generations to come: get married and start a family. I will say this is the most important ring I have right here.”
Watch his full speech below:
This is not the first time Butker vocalized his passion for the Catholic faith.
In 2019, Butker told his conversion story to EWTN reporter Colm Flynn.
Prior to this year’s Super Bowl, Butker told reporters during a press conference that he prioritizes God in his work and his “identity can’t be all as a football player.” He said he often recites the “Jesus, I trust in You” prayer.
Finally, Super Bowl viewers spotted Butker wearing his brown scapular during the game.