Superbowl Champ Talks Faith, Miscarriage, and Fatherhood’s Impact on Gun Violence

By Aliya Kuykendall Published on March 23, 2024

Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker is a three-time Super Bowl champ who says the most important thing in his life is his faith. He’s also a husband and father of two. Recently, he spoke to the Catholic network EWTN about faith, family, his views on preventing gun violence, and on the sanctity of life.

This past season, Butker said, he prioritized being present with his children at Mass on Sunday mornings whenever his work schedule allowed. “It’s amazing that God allowed me to have the best season of my career.”

Mass Shooting Victim Wore Butker’s Jersey, Shared Catholic Faith

Butker recalled the Super Bowl parade celebrating the Chiefs’ win that turned into a tragedy when a mass shooting killed 43-year-old Lisa Lopez-Galvan and wounded at least 25 others in February. It was Ash Wednesday: the first day of Lent, a season before Easter of focusing on Jesus and repentance. Butker went to Mass that morning and got ashes in the sign of the cross on his forehead. He said he was hesitant to wear ashes at the parade, but “it turned out to be a really amazing thing.” People who saw his ashes pointed to their own. “It was a great way to connect.”

But then gunshots rang out. Lopez-Galvan, who died, had been wearing Butker’s jersey number: 7. Later, when he spoke with her family, “They said how how much she appreciated me standing up, being countercultural, standing up for the Catholic faith.” Butker gave the family his jersey, in which Lopez-Galvan was buried.

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Butker said that Lopez-Galvan had something else in common with him: her faith. It “was the most important thing in her life. It’s the most important thing in my life, and to be able to receive that encouragement, that love, even though I never met her, I heard that from her family, how much she was encouraged by me and loved all my work. That’s just very encouraging for me to continue on the path that I’m on. And to be unwavering in my beliefs.”

Gun Violence and Fatherhood

What are his thoughts on curbing gun violence? Interestingly, Butker said, it’s not legislation; it’s fatherhood.

I had to do a lot of of thinking about the what took place at the parade. I know gun violence was a big discussion, but at the end of the day, this is degenerate violence and it should not be occurring. I think we need strong fathers in the home. I think that we need men that are leading, that are setting good examples, that are teaching the young men in our society that violence is not the way.

It’s very unfortunate what happened. Unfortunately many, many children were injured. A beautiful young lady was killed over someone getting offended and turning to violence to handle that dispute. It’s so sad. I don’t think guns are the issue. I think we need fathers in the home that are being great examples for our youth.

Standing Up for the Sanctity of Life and Facing Miscarriage

Butker also spoke about what happened when he went to the White House with the Chiefs to celebrate their 2023 Super Bowl win. He was wearing a subtle pro-life statement: a tie with the Latin phrase, Vulnerari Praesidio, meaning “protect the most vulnerable.” Butker, who prefers Latin Masses, said:

The unborn are to me the greatest victims in our society. They don’t have a voice. They don’t necessarily look like humans. They’re not very big. They can’t fight for themselves. There’s not a lot of people that are fighting for them and I just think it’s a great atrocity that’s occurring in this country with massacring the unborn, and I felt like there’s no better place to send this message than to the masses and to represent the unborn at a place like the White House where unfortunately their voices are not heard.

Butker said he and his wife have suffered three miscarriages in their six years of marriage. “That is a human person,” he said, adding that holding funerals for miscarried children show reverence for the life that was lost. Butker said his faith comforted him comfort in those losses:

Hopefully one day we’ll be able to be with them for eternity and in Heaven. But it’s also consoling to think that God is more upset and sad at losing that child than we could ever be, and that was very comforting for me to think about that. Of course I want to have more children and I want to meet this child, but the child’s going to their true Father, which is not me, and I have to be okay with that, and I have to trust in God’s providence β€” that this is just part of His plan, and with His grace we can get through anything.


Aliya Kuykendall is a staff writer and proofreader for The Stream. You can follow Aliya on X @AliyaKuykendall and follow The Stream @Streamdotorg.

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