Chiefs CEO's Wife and Daughter Respond to Harrison Butker Controversy

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Originally appeared on E! Online

Kansas City Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt's wife and eldest daughter are weighing in on the controversy surrounding kicker Harrison Butker's commencement speech at a Catholic college.

Tavia Hunt, who has been married to the billionaire businessman for more than 30 years, shared her thoughts about being a stay-at-home mom May 16, five days after the athlete sparked mixed reactions over his remarks at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan., in which he said most female graduates would be "most excited" about marriage and motherhood.

"I've always encouraged my daughters to be highly educated and chase their dreams," the 52-year-old, who also shares daughters Gracie Hunt, 25 and Ava Hunt, 18, and son Knobel Hunt, 20, with Clark, wrote on Instagram, alongside throwback pics of herself with her kids. "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."

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce Celebrate Kansas City Chiefs' 2024 Super Bowl Win

More from E! Online

Tavia continued, "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. Countless highly educated women devote their lives to nurturing and guiding their children. Someone disagreeing with you doesn't make them hateful; it simply means they have a different opinion."

Tavia, who did not mention Harrison by name, encouraged people to "celebrate families, motherhood and fatherhood."

"Our society desperately needs dedicated men and women to raise up and train the next generation in the way they should go," she wrote. "We need more dialogue (and VALUES, IMO) in this country and less hate."

Gracie shared her thoughts on Harrison's speech May 17. "I've had the most incredible mom who had the ability to stay home and be with us as kids growing up," she said on Fox News' Fox & Friends. "And I understand that there are many women out there who can't make that decision. But for me and my life, I know it was really formative and in shaping me and my siblings into who we are."

Gracie Hunt, Tavia Hunt, Harrison Butker
Cooper Neill/Getty Images / Instagram / Tavia Hunt

When asked if she understood what Harrison was talking about in his speech, Gracie replied, "For sure, and I really respect Harrison and his Christian faith and what he's accomplished on and off the field."

Harrison, 28, has not responded publicly to backlash over his speech, in which he said to the female graduates directly, "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? 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."

Meanwhile, Harrison also said that "things like abortion, IVF, surrogacy, euthanasia, as well as a growing support for degenerate cultural values in media, all stem from the pervasiveness of disorder." In a different part of his speech, he quoted a lyric from Taylor Swift, who is dating Chiefs star tight end Travis Kelce, referring to the 14-time Grammy winner solely as his "teammate's girlfriend."

Amid the controversy, the NFL had issued their own response to the Chiefs kicker's remarks. "Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity," the league's senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer Jonathan Beane said in a statement to People. "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."

Read on to see more from celebs who have weighed in on the controversy.

Maren Morris

<p>Maren Morris</p>

Maria Shriver

<p>Maria Shriver</p>

Patricia Heaton

<p>Patricia Heaton</p>

Whoopi Goldberg

<p>Whoopi Goldberg</p>

Bill Maher

<p>Bill Maher</p>

Tavia and Gracie Hunt

<p>Tavia and Gracie Hunt</p>

For the latest breaking news updates, click here to download the E! News App