Catholic group questions NFL’s commitment to ‘inclusion’ after response to player’s religious speech

A top Catholic political advocacy group is calling out the National Football League (NFL) for claiming to have a “commitment to inclusion,” then attempting to distance itself from a player over his faith-filled commencement speech.CatholicVote came to the defense of Chiefs player Harrison Butker in a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt on Thursday, after the kicker was shamed for his speech at Benedictine University on how “truth is in the minority.”Within the first few minutes of his speech, Butcker hit President Joe Biden for having a pro-abortion stance while identifying as Catholic, saying the president is “delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally.” Along with detailing his Catholic faith, Butker touched on several other controversial political topics, including in vitro fertilization (IVF), diversity, equity, and inclusion. The NFL released a statement saying that the league was committed to inclusion and that Butker’s “views are not those of the NFL as an organization,” prompting CatholicVote to pen a letter to the league saying their reaction “calls into question your commitment to genuine diversity and inclusion.”HARRISON BUTKER’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH ‘SHOWED COURAGE AND COMMITMENT,’ LOU HOLTZ SAYSThe group asked whether the NFL’s inclusion efforts include “Catholics, pro-life Americans, mothers, and those who hold to traditional moral beliefs.”CatholicVote also highlighted the rising backlash against Butker, including from the wife of LA Rams quarterback, who said the speech had “dangerous gender ideologies.” “The View” also said Butcker’s religious beliefs are “cult-like” and that he should go to therapy.KELLY STAFFORD, WIFE OF SUPER BOWL CHAMPION QB, TAKES ISSUE WITH HARRISON BUTKER’S COMMENCEMENT SPEECH”The growing hatred, intimidation, and now threats of violence against him for publicly defending our deeply-held beliefs represent the worst kind of anti-Catholic bigotry, and cannot be tolerated,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote, said in the letter.The group added that Butker’s speech was “courageous” and encouraged “Catholics to live up to the high ideals of our Faith.” “These ideals are not controversial for millions of Americans and indeed remain sacred for millions of religious believers, including millions of your fans and customers,” CatholicVote said.CatholicVote added that “we are hopeful, however, that you do not intend to send a message to Catholics, or to those that still uphold basic moral tenets of a civilized society, that they are outsiders and no longer welcome. To paraphrase a famous quote from NBA star Michael Jordan, “Catholics watch NFL games, too.”The NFL did not respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment for this story and has not yet responded to the letter, according to CatholicVote. 
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