Eddie Vedder Slams Football Guy's Sexist Commencement Speech

"He started telling men, 'Don’t lose your masculinity.' The irony was that when he was saying that, he looked like such a fucking pussy."

Photo: Eddie Vedder by Danny Clinch (right)

BY Megan LaPierrePublished May 21, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker's ridiculously sexist commencement speech at Benedictine College's graduation ceremony last week, where the football player laid out some pretty traditional — to put it mildly — views on how men and women should respectively behave, as well as condemning Pride, trans people, abortions, IVF, surrogacy, and euthanasia; you know, the whole nine yards.

Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam frontman and guy who has determined the internet's usefulness after once not knowing where Manitoba was, is among those of us who haven't been able to avoid learning the blasphemous details of Butker's speech online. While performing in Las Vegas, NV, as part of the band's world tour behind Dark Matter over the weekend (May 18), Vedder addressed the footballer's commentary, saying that Butker's takes on femininity and masculinity made him look "like such a fucking pussy."

While on stage at Pearl Jam's second of two nights at Vegas's MGM Grand Garden Arena on Saturday (May 18), Vedder thanked opening band Deep Sea Diver, which features lead singer Jessica Dobson and keyboardist Patti King.

"There's some good men and good women making up a great band," Vedder said. "The singer, Jessica, and the keyboard player, Patti… they must not have believed that 'diabolical lie' that women should take pride in taking a back seat to their man," referencing a key pull-quote from Butker's commencement address.

Of the kicker's condemnation of working women in the speech — which elsewhere included quoting a lyric from "Bejewelled" by Taylor Swift (whom he referred to only as "my teammate's girlfriend") — Vedder continued, "There should be pride in homemaking, whether you're a man or woman. It's maybe one of the hardest jobs and you should definitely take pride in it. But you shouldn't not follow a dream because you think… you're going to benefit by giving up your dreams? I couldn't understand the logic.

"The irony was that the football player — well, kicker… You see, the kicker doesn't have the pads because he doesn't tackle anybody or get tackled — but he started telling men, 'Don't forget to puff up your chest and be more masculine. Don't lose your masculinity,'" the frontman went on. "The irony was that when he was saying that, he looked like such a fucking pussy. There's nothing more masculine than a strong man supporting a strong woman. People of quality do not fear equality."

It hopefully goes without saying that Vedder's response also reflects Butker's very binary perspective on gender, as well as the standard compulsory-heterosexuality schtick, despite failing to point that out. Watch fan-shot footage of the musician's rebuttal below.

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