Michele Tafoya Breaks Down The Butker Brouhaha: ‘The Culture Wars Are Running Deep’
HOUSTON, TX - OCTOBER 7: TV announcer Michele Tafoya on the field before a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium on October 7, 2018 in Houston, Texans. The Texans defeated the Cowboys in overtime 19-16. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker made national headlines earlier this month because of a press hostile to traditional values, according to Michele Tafoya, an award-winning former NFL sideline reporter.

After about three decades working in sports media, Tafoya traded her decorated role as an NFL sideline reporter for NBC Sports in 2022 for greater freedom to speak on issues she is passionate about. Tafoya will appear as a guest host on The Daily Wire’s news podcast “Morning Wire” this week.

Tafoya said the reaction to Butker was motivated by an antipathy toward traditional, religious values.

“People are very ready to have knee-jerk reactions to everything that everyone says these days, and particularly traditional people,” Tafoya told The Daily Wire. “I don’t know why traditional values are so despised, but they seem to be really something that people are ready to cancel you for.”

Butker, a practicing Catholic, delivered his controversial remarks during a commencement ceremony at Benedictine College in Kansas. In the ceremony’s keynote, the Chiefs’ kicker emphasized the importance of the Catholic faith and its values, such as its opposition to homosexuality and transgenderism. Butker also promoted the importance of motherhood.

“I want to speak directly to you briefly because I think it is you, the women, who have had the most diabolical lies told to you, how many of you are sitting here now about to cross the stage, and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you’re going to get in your career,” Butker said. “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 continued.

The reaction to Butker’s May 11 speech continues to carry headlines weeks later. The speech has been amplified by media that wants to use it, as well as Butker’s platform as a Super Bowl-winning NFL player, to attack traditional values, according to Tafoya.

“Let’s be honest, if some unknown Catholic professor or academician or priest had given the speech, no one would have batted an eye,” Tafoya said. “This was a way to bring it into the mainstream because we’re talking about a Super Bowl-winning kicker who represents a team that has been very popular.”


“The Kansas City Chiefs – defending Super Bowl champs, the team that Taylor Swift follows, you know, all of those things. So, Harrison Butker being part of that team made this story that much bigger, or more easy to attack,” she continued.

Tafoya also said that the reaction to Butker is a sign of how polarized the country has become. Many Americans get caught up in the latest outrage and give fuel to stories such as Butker’s – a religious Catholic talking about Catholic values at a Catholic college’s commencement address.

“The culture wars are running deep,” she said. There are signs to be optimistic about the national conversation, however, she added.

“I think we have more room now to be on the other side, to say, ‘Why can’t you just accept this man for who he is?’ I think there was a time maybe 10-20 years ago where we would have all had to just shut our mouths and let the progressive side have the last say. I don’t think that’s happening anymore. I think people are starting to speak up a little more,” Tafoya said.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Michele Tafoya Breaks Down The Butker Brouhaha: ‘The Culture Wars Are Running Deep’