Homeschooling mom accuses Butker's critics of distorting his message to women to cause outrage

'I think that his great sin was that he dared to say something that is obviously true in public,' homemaker and mother of two said of Butker backlash

A Maryland mother who decided to table her professional career to raise her two children at home says she was surprised at the fallout that ensued from Harrison Butker's commencement speech at a Catholic college praising traditional gender roles.

"The fact that a professional athlete showed the courage and the conviction to speak truth in an age when eyes are blinded and ears are shut against it, was deeply encouraging to me," Dawn Duran told Fox News Digital. "What did surprise me is that people were shocked that a traditional Catholic speaking to a Catholic audience believes things that Catholics have proclaimed for thousands of years."

In his May 11 address at Benedictine College, the Kansas City Chiefs kicker told female graduates they had been told "diabolical lies" about the value of motherhood in society. He also credited his wife for his professional successes and praised her for "leaning into her vocation" as a homemaker.

Butker's comments blew up in the media, generating considerable debate, support and backlash around the country. 


Homeschooling mom reacts to Butker comments

Homeschooling mom Dawn Duran reacted to Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's viral commencement speech that drew backlash. (Fox News Digital/Getty Images)

However, Duran, a licensed physical therapist and adjunct college professor, said Butker's comments about motherhood resonated with her own convictions and life experience. 

"The so-called successes I had in my life — I was a college athlete, I was selected as a Rhodes Scholarship finalist. I directed a physical therapy clinic, I rehabbed Olympic athletes. I was a college professor — they all paled in comparison to my most prized role of wife and mother," she said.

Butker's remarks to female graduates in particular have sparked controversy.

"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. I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother," he said.

Duran feels Butker's message was "distorted in order to invoke outrage."


Harrison Butker warms up

Harrison Butker #7 of the Kansas City Chiefs drew backlash for his commencement speech on May 11 at Benedictine College. ( Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

"I did not hear him declare that every woman must be a stay-at-home wife and mother. Instead, he was merely inspiring women who recognize that as their highest calling to embrace it. He was encouraging them that they didn't have to buy into society's depiction of a successful woman," she argued.

Butker was not disparaging women who choose not to marry or have children, she said, but was praising motherhood as an equally important calling.

She believes the Catholic athlete's message drew so much negativity because it was counter-cultural.

"I think that his great sin was that he dared to say something that is obviously true in public. We live in a world that routinely rejects God, rejects its creation order. And Harrison Butker called our attention to the fact that absolute truth does, in fact, exist, despite our culture's best efforts to deny it," Duran said.

"But unfortunately, our culture devalues the family and the work of mothering to the extent that this became the issue that it has become," she continued.


Harrison Butker points up

Butker's comments directed toward women received mostly negative media attention. (Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports)

The address on Benedictine's YouTube page has garnered more than 1.7 million views as of Monday.

Butker's remarks drew enough backlash from the left that it prompted the NFL to issue a statement distancing itself from his remarks.

The athlete also waded into a number of other hot button issues during his speech, including criticizing LGBTQ Pride month and President Biden over his support for abortion despite being a practicing Catholic.

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