Whoopi Goldberg defends NFL star’s right, says Harrison Butker, Colin Kaepernick deserve equal respect for expressing views


The same way we want respect when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours,” Goldberg said on “The View

Whoopi Goldberg has weighed in with an extra point to add amid a flurry of backlash following Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker’s controversial commencement speech at the Benedictine College private Catholic school.



After Butker praised his wife for embracing being a “homemaker” and also targeted the LGBTQIA+ community and Joe Biden in his speech, Goldberg used her post on Thursday’s episode of The View to defend Butker’s right to free speech — even if she staunchly opposes his spoken perspective.

“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. I don’t have to believe them, I don’t have to accept them, the ladies that were sitting in that audience don’t have to accept them,” the 68-year-old said. “The same way we want respect when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different from ours because the man who says he wants to be president, You-Know-Who, he says the way to act is to take away people’s right to say how they feel. We don’t want to be that, we don’t want to be those people.”

Goldberg’s cohost, Sara Haines, referenced calls for Butker to be removed from his position on the Super Bowl-winning team when she said she doesn’t want people “shut down or fired,” even though she, too, heavily criticized Butker’s stances.

She also said she disagreed with Goldberg’s comparison to Kaepernick, who previously courted controversy in conservative circles when he refused to stand at NFL games for the National Anthem to protest police brutality in America. Haines called the former San Francisco 49ers player’s actions as “standing up for the rights of many and saying, in a social justice moment, a reminder that we’re not there yet,” while she criticized Butker for being “divergent from the majority of Catholics” when he disparaged other people with his words.

“He chose to target the LGBTQ community, there was a way you could speak with humility about the beliefs you stand for, but you can’t alienate certain parts of the scripture,” Republican panelist Alyssa Farah Griffin added, before sarcastically assessing Butker’s wife’s role in the home. “I have this huge issue with this tradwife homemaker thing. What a remarkable privilege. If you get to marry an NFL kicker who wins the Super Bowl, you too might get to be a homemaker in this economy!”

Sunny Hostin, the show’s resident legal expert and also a passionate Catholic, said that she felt his words were “problematic” — specifically what he said about the queer community.

“He said it was sinful behavior,” Hostin assessed. “When the Pope, the leader of the Catholic church basically has done more for the LGBTQ community than any in Catholic history.” She also said that Butker’s disparaging of Biden shouldn’t hold any weight in government, as Biden (also a Catholic), “understands there’s a difference in church and state.”

Still, Goldberg stressed that Butker “has the right to say it” publicly. “When you say to somebody, ‘I don’t like what you said, so I’m going to get your job taken away because you disagree with me,’ for me that’s an issue. It happens to us all the time,” she said.

Before the Hot Topics discussion ended, Joy Behar quipped about Butker’s mental health.

“I think he has mother issues,” Behar said, noting that Butker’s mother is a physicist — not a full-time homemaker. “He refers to Taylor Swift as his teammate’s girlfriend, another hugely accomplished woman he has huge disdain for because of mommy. So, get a therapist!”

In a statement to CBS, one of the NFL’s TV partners for game broadcasts, Jonathan Beane, the league’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, said that “Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity” and that “his views are not those of the NFL as an organization