This NFL kicker says his wedding ring matters more than his 2 Super Bowl rings
Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker spoke about marriage, loneliness and the true measure of success during his commencement speech for Georgia Tech
Since getting drafted into the NFL in 2017, Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker has made 164 field goals and won two Super Bowl rings.
But when he recently recounted his most important achievements, Butker drew his audience’s attention away from the football field.
He told this year’s graduates from the Georgia Institute of Technology, which is better known as Georgia Tech, that the most significant thing he’s done in recent years is get married and have kids.
“This is the most important ring I have right here,” he said during his commencement speech as he gestured toward his wedding band.
Two-time Super Bowl Champion, Kansas City #Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker gives a graduating class a SUPER POWERFUL speech:— MLFootball (@_MLFootball) May 9, 2023
“In the end— no matter how much money you attain— none of it will matter if you are alone and devoid of purpose... I can offer one controversial antidote… pic.twitter.com/g9MYOPjrH1
Harrison Butker’s comments on marriage
Butker, who played for Georgia Tech in college, presented marriage and parenting as antidotes to today’s loneliness crisis.
While admitting that the advice was controversial, he urged graduates to focus on finding a life partner rather than achieving financial success.
“Sadly, we are encouraged to live our lives for ourselves to move from one thing to another with no long-term commitment. To have loyalty for nothing but ourselves and sacrifice only when it suits our own interests. This loneliness is rooted in the lies being sold about self dependence and prioritizing our career over important relationships,” he said, according to The Kansas City Star.
Butker said the satisfaction that comes from professional victories, including game-winning field goal kicks, pales in comparison to the happiness you can find with your family at home.
“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. How much greater of a legacy can anyone leave than that?” he said.
Butker also encouraged graduates to seek out meaningful nonromantic relationships and resist the urge to ignore the God-given dignity that all people have.
“In the end, no matter how much money you attain, none of it will matter if you are alone and devoid of purpose,” he said.
Harrison Butker’s Catholic faith
One observer praised Butker for his family- and friendship-focused message, noting that the kicker had found a way to subtly integrate Christian teachings into an address for a secular institution.
“Butker’s advice is sound not just for college graduates but for us all. In the end, what could matter more to us than God, our families and our friendships?” wrote Father Patrick Briscoe in a column for Our Sunday Visitor.
Like Father Briscoe, Butker is Catholic and has spoken often about his faith in interviews. He often points to the sky after a kick successfully sails through the uprights.
“My success in football has given me a pedestal and I feel a responsibility to raise awareness to different issues that I think God wants me to bring to the forefront,” Butker said last year to Catholic News Agency.
Butker, 27, married his wife, Isabelle, in February 2018. They have two kids, according to People magazine.