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Harrison Butker

Harrison Butker
refer to caption
Butker in 2022
No. 7 – Kansas City Chiefs
Position:Kicker
Personal information
Born: (1995-07-14) July 14, 1995 (age 28)
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Height:6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight:205 lb (93 kg)
Career information
High school:Westminster
(Atlanta, Georgia)
College:Georgia Tech (2013–2016)
NFL draft:2017 / Round: 7 / Pick: 233
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
NFL records
  • Longest made field goal in a Super Bowl: 57 yards (LVIII)
  • Career field goals in the Super Bowl: 9
Career NFL statistics as of Week 18, 2023
Field goals made:197
Field goals attempted:221
Field goal %:89.1
Longest field goal:62
Player stats at PFR

Harrison Butker (born July 14, 1995) is an American football kicker for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football for the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, and was selected by the Carolina Panthers in the seventh round of the 2017 NFL draft. Butker is second in NFL history in career field goal percentage (minimum 100 attempts) with 89.1.[1] He led the NFL in scoring in 2019, and won three Super Bowls with the Chiefs.

Early life

Butker was born on July 14, 1995, to Harrison Butker Sr. and Elizabeth Keller Butker, and was raised in Decatur, Georgia. He has an older sister.[2]

Butker's maternal grandfather, James W. Keller, MD, held appointments in oncology at Emory University for 28 years.[3] Butker's mother, Elizabeth Keller Butker, has been a clinical medical physicist at Emory since 1988.[3][4]

Butker went to The Westminster Schools, where he played on the football team after picking up the sport as a rising sophomore.[5] Butker broke the school record (at the time) for a field goal of 53 yards. He was a three-sport athlete in basketball, football, and soccer, winning three state championships in soccer. Butker was also a tuba player for the school's symphonic band.[5]

College career

Before pursuing football, Butker played soccer at Georgia Tech.

Butker played at Georgia Tech from 2013 through 2016 under head coach Paul Johnson.[6] Butker is the all-time leading scorer in school history and was a captain of the team for his senior season.[7] In his collegiate career, Butker converted 208-of-210 extra point attempts and 43-of-60 field goal attempts.[6] He graduated with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering.[8]

Professional career

Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers selected Butker in the seventh round (233rd overall) in the 2017 NFL draft.[9] On May 5, 2017, Butker signed a four-year, $2.48 million contract that included a signing bonus of $83,112.[10] He was waived on September 13, 2017,[11] and was signed to the practice squad the next day.[12]

Kansas City Chiefs

2017 season

On September 26, 2017, Butker was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs off the Panthers' practice squad.[13]

Butker made his debut during a Week 4 29–20 victory over the Washington Redskins on Monday Night Football. Butker missed his first career field goal attempt of 46 yards, but made his next three attempts, including the game-winner.[14] In the next game against the Houston Texans, Butker made all five of his field goal attempts during the 42–34 road victory.[15] Three weeks later against the Denver Broncos, he converted five field goals in the 29–19 victory, earning AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.[16][17] For the month of October, he was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Month.[18] During a Week 16 29–13 victory over the Miami Dolphins, Butker converted five field goals, earning him his second AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award.[19][20]

Butker finished his rookie season converting 28 extra point attempts and 38-of-42 field goal attempts.[21] Butker was named as an alternate to the 2018 Pro Bowl.[22] He finished the season tied for fourth in scoring with Chris Boswell with 142 points.[23]

2018 season

During a Week 2 42–37 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers, Butker converted a career-high six extra points.[24]

He finished his second professional season converting 65 of 69 extra point attempts and 24-of-27 field goal attempts.[25]

2019 season

Butker (right) alongside punter Dustin Colquitt

On April 15, 2019, Butker signed his exclusive rights free agent tender with the Chiefs. The tender gave Butker a one-year contract worth $645,000.[26] On June 13, 2019, he signed a five-year extension worth $20.3 million.[27]

During a Week 9 26–23 victory over the Minnesota Vikings, Butker made four field goals, including a 44-yard game-winner, earning him AFC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.[28][29] Butker was named the AFC Special Teams Player of the Month for November.[30] He led the NFL in regular season field goals with 34 made field goals and finished the regular season with 45-of-48 extra points converted and 34-of-38 field goals converted.[31][32]

Butker won his first Super Bowl in Super Bowl LIV. During the 31–20 victory over the San Francisco 49ers, Butker converted all four extra point attempts and his only field goal attempt, a 31-yarder in the second quarter.[33]

2020 season

During a Week 2 23–20 overtime victory over the Los Angeles Chargers, Butker made all three field goal attempts he had in the game, including a franchise record tying 58-yarder, a game tying 30-yard field goal as time expired in regulation, and the game winning and franchise record tying 58-yard field goal in overtime. The longest field goal record was broken in 2022 while Butker was injured.[34] For his performance, Butker was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week.[35] After his fifth missed extra point of the season in a Week 7 game against the Broncos, Butker set a career high for missed extra points in a season despite only attempting 24 extra points up to that point.[36]

Butker finished the 2020 season converting 25-for-27 field-goal attempts and 48-for-54 on extra-point attempts. During Super Bowl LV, Butker scored all of the Chiefs' points in the 31–9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.[37]

2021 season

Butker was placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list on December 20, 2021[38] after testing positive for COVID-19. Due to the NFL's COVID-19 protocols, he missed the Chiefs' Week 16 game against the Steelers. It was the first game of his career Butker missed.[39] He was activated on December 29, 2021.[40] In the 2021 season, Butker appeared in 16 games and converted 47-of-49 extra point attempts and 25-of-28 field goal attempts.[41]

In the divisional round against the Buffalo Bills, Butker converted a 49-yard game-tying field goal in regulation to force overtime during the 42–36 victory.[42]

2022 season

During the season-opening 44–21 road victory over the Arizona Cardinals, Butker made a 54-yard field goal and all four extra point attempts despite suffering an ankle injury.[43] The day before the Chiefs' Week 2 game against the Chargers, he was ruled out due to the ankle injury.[44] Butker was inactive for the Chiefs next four games.[45] In his first game back from the injury against the Bills, Butker broke the Chiefs' franchise record for longest field goal for the second time (his previous record of 58 had been broken while he was injured) with a 62-yard field goal. It was the 15th field goal in NFL history 62 yards or longer.[46] In his first five games after returning from injury, Butker missed an extra point or a field goal in each of those games, the longest such streak of his career. Butker ended the streak making all three field goal attempts and all three extra point attempts in Week 11 against the Chargers. Due to the injury, with the missed time and the injury causing kicking issues, Butker had what was statistically the worst season of his career. Butker had a career low field goal percentage (75%), a career high in misses (6), and a career low in attempts (24). In the AFC Championship Game, Butker hit a 45-yard game winning field goal to defeat the Cincinnati Bengals 23–20 to send the Chiefs to Super Bowl LVII. In the Super Bowl, Butker kicked a 27-yard game winning field goal with 11 seconds in the fourth quarter to give the Chiefs a 38–35 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles to win his second Super Bowl in his career.[47]

2023 season

Butker began the season making his first 24 field goals before his first miss in Week 15.[48] During a Week 17 25–17 victory over the Cincinnati Bengals, Butker went 6-for-6 on field goals and was named AFC Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance. His six field goals made set a career high.[49] Butker finished the season making 33-of-35 attempts, tying a career low for missed field goals and setting a career high in field goal percentage with 94.3%. Butker made all 12 of his attempts from over 40 yards, including his second successful field goal from over 60 yards. Butker did not miss a single extra point attempt for the secnd time in his career. Butker's performance in the 2023 season moved him back into second place in NFL history in career field goal percentage (minimum 100 attempts).[50]

In Super Bowl LVIII, Butker broke two Super Bowl records: longest made field goal in Super Bowl history (57) and most career field goals in the Super Bowl (9).[51] The Chiefs won in overtime 25–22. The win gave Butker his third Super Bowl victory and his second consecutive win.[52] The win made Butker the fourth kicker in NFL history with three Super Bowl wins.[53]

NFL career statistics

Regular season

Legend
Won the Super Bowl
Led the league
Bold Career high
Year Team GP Overall FGs PATs Kickoffs Points
Blk Lng FGA FGM Pct XPA XPM Pct Blk KO TB
2017 KC 13 0 53 42 38 90.5 28 28 100 0 78 61 142
2018 KC 16 0 54 27 24 88.9 69 65 94.2 1 110 72 137
2019 KC 16 1 56 38 34 89.5 48 45 93.8 0 98 60 147
2020 KC 16 0 58 27 25 92.6 54 48 88.9 1 95 72 123
2021 KC 16 0 56 28 25 89.3 49 47 95.9 0 93 61 122
2022 KC 13 1 62 24 18 75.0 41 38 92.7 0 68 44 92
2023 KC 17 0 60 35 33 94.3 38 38 100 0 85 74 137
Total 107 2 62 221 197 89.1 327 309 94.5 2 627 444 900

Playoffs

Year Team GP Overall FGs PATs Points
Lng FGA FGM Pct XPA XPM Pct
2017 KC 1 1 0 0 3 3 100 3
2018 KC 2 39 2 2 100 8 8 100 14
2019 KC 3 31 2 2 100 16 15 93.8 21
2020 KC 3 52 8 8 100 7 6 85.7 14
2021 KC 3 49 5 4 80.0 13 12 92.3 24
2022 KC 3 50 7 6 85.7 11 11 100 17
2023 KC 4 57 11 11 100 8 8 100 36
Total 19 57 35 32 91.4 66 63 95.5 132

NFL record

  • Field goals made by a rookie: 38[54]

Super Bowl records

  • Longest field goal in the Super Bowl: 57 yards (2024)[55]
  • Career field goals in the Super Bowl: 9[51]

Chiefs franchise records

  • Field goals made, season: 38 (2017)[56]
  • Points by a rookie: 142[57]
  • Points by a kicker, season: 142 (2017)[58]
  • Longest field goal: 62 yards (2022)[46]
  • Career field goal percentage (minimum 50 attempts): 89.1%[59]

Personal life

Butker is married with two children.[60] He is the co-founder, president, and chief operating officer of MDKeller.[61][62] One of the companies that Butker co-founded as a subsidiary of MDKeller is Shepherd's, which specializes in custom menswear.[62]

Views

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Religious beliefs

Butker has stated that he grew up Catholic but practiced less as he got older and went to high school and college. He said that he rediscovered his faith later in life and noted: "The sacrament of confession, that's really what changed me."[63]

He is now a devout Catholic and attends the Latin Mass. Butker has publicly spoken out against Traditionis custodes, saying that he felt that he and other traditionalist Catholics were "persecuted" in the Church.[64] He currently serves on the Board of Directors of Regina Caeli Academy, an accredited[by whom?] pre-kindergarten–12 classical homeschool hybrid academy located in cities in the United States and United Kingdom.[65]

In April 2024, he spoke with Republican Senator Josh Hawley at the "Stronger Men's Conference" about how his deep-rooted faith grounds him in his NFL career.[66]

Comments about Jews

In May 2024, Butker gave a commencement address at Benedictine College.[67] The speech was met with applause and a standing ovation from the audience.[68] Among other topics, he spoke about first-century Jews as being responsible for the death of Jesus while criticizing a provision of a bill condemning antisemitism. Butker said, "We fear speaking truth, because now, unfortunately, truth is in the minority. Congress just passed a bill where stating something as basic as the biblical teaching of who killed Jesus could land you in jail".[69]

Some, including Dave Zirin of The Nation, interpreted Butker's comments to be antisemitic in nature.[70] Andrew Perez and Nikki McCann Ramirez of Rolling Stone agreed, writing, "[Butker] promoted an insidious piece of antisemitic misinformation... Historically, claims that Jews were ultimately responsible for the death of Jesus have been wielded as an antisemitic trope against Jewish populations."[71] Yvette Walker of the Kansas City Star also criticized Butker's speech: "The church long has held that Jews could not be held collectively accountable, since the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s. In 2011, Pope Benedict XVI affirmed this...and wrote there is no basis in Scripture for blaming Jews."[72]

Comments about women in the workforce

Butker was the commencement speaker at his alma mater, Georgia Tech, in 2023. He received widespread attention[73] for his exhortation to "get married and start a family." He was also quoted as saying, "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."[74] During Butker's 2024 address at Benedictine College, he said:

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 this stage and are thinking about all the promotions and titles you are going to get in your career? 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'm on the stage today and able to be the man I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation...and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker. I can tell you that my beautiful wife Isabelle would be the first to say that her life truly started when she started living her vocation as a wife and as a mother.

Several articles highlighted that Butker's mother, Elizabeth Keller Butker, has been a clinical medical physicist at Emory University and holds two university degrees.[a][79] His speech, which included other personal and political opinions, was met with controversy.[b][84] On May 15, 2024, in response to Butker's comments and the ensuant backlash, Jonathan Beane, the NFL's senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, told People in a written statement that, "His views are not those of the NFL as an organization. The NFL is steadfast in our commitment to inclusion, which only makes our league stronger."[85] OutSports wrote, "One of the worst parts of this NFL player's awful speech is that he quoted a Taylor Swift song before telling women they should be homemakers and serve their man's career."[80] On his New Heights podcast, Travis Kelce said he did not agree with "just about any" of Butker's views but did "cherish" him as a teammate.[86]

Others were supportive of Butker's remarks. Hunter Estes, communications director for Mississippi governor Tate Reeves, tweeted a portion of Butker's message, "Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fight against the cultural emasculation of men. Do hard things. Never settle for what is easy," and added, "This is indeed a brave and rebellious message for our current age. The world needs more good men like Harrison Butker."[87] Tavia Hunt, the director of the Kansas City Chiefs Women's Organization and wife of Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt, wrote on Instagram, "Affirming motherhood and praising your wife, as well as highlighting the sacrifice and dedication it takes to be a mother, is not bigoted. It is empowering to acknowledge that a woman’s hard work in raising children is not in vain."[88] Butker's teammate, defensive lineman Chris Jones, tweeted, "I love you @buttkicker7! My brotha."[89] In a video posted on Instagram, actress Patricia Heaton said, "I am a Catholic woman, who worked through my kids’ childhood and I believe God opened those doors for me. Thankfully, it was a schedule that allowed me to also be a full-time mom, basically. I find nothing offensive about what he said, even though my life is very different."[90]

Pro-life advocacy

Butker supported the 2022 Kansas Value Them Both Amendment, which would have overridden a 2019 Kansas Supreme Court ruling that the Kansas constitution guarantees a right to abortion.[91][92] In 2023, Butker wore a pro-life tie while attending the Chiefs' Super Bowl LVII victory celebration at The White House in protest of President Joe Biden's pro-choice views.[93]

LGBTQ beliefs

In a March 2024 interview with the Catholic News Agency, Butker condemned the Catholic Church for burying a recently deceased transgender rights advocate named Cecilia Gentili. Butker wrote a letter to Cardinal Timothy Dolan, encouraging him to take a "strong stance" against the actions[which?] that took place. Butker said in the interview, "We need men that are leading saying, 'This is not right. This is wrong.' As Catholics, we will not accept this."[94] In his 2024 commencement speech to Benedictine College, while advocating for a more conservative form of Catholicism, he referred to Pride Month as an example of the "deadly sins".[95] Former Kansas City commissioner Justice Horn criticized Butker, writing, "Harrison Butker doesn't represent Kansas City nor has he ever. Kansas City has always been a place that welcomes, affirms and embraces our LGBTQ+ community members."[96] Sarah Kate Ellis, president and CEO of GLAAD, wrote that Butker’s comments were "inaccurate, ill-informed and woefully out-of-step with Americans about Pride".[97]

Political beliefs

Butker's 2024 address to the graduating class of Benedictine College covered a number of his political beliefs; in the speech, Butker condemned President Joe Biden's political stance on abortion, saying, "Our own nation is led by a man who publicly and proudly proclaims his Catholic faith, but at the same time is delusional enough to make the sign of the cross during a pro-abortion rally."[98] He also criticized President Biden's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He spoke about other issues including IVF, surrogacy, LGBT movements and Pride Month, the concept of women in the workforce, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and a bill condemning antisemitism.[99][100][101]

Notes

  1. ^ Attributed to multiple references:[2][4][75][76][77][78]
  2. ^ Attributed to multiple references:[80][81][82][83]

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Harrison Butker
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