Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder pauses concert to blast Harrison Butker’s sexist speech

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder briefly paused the rock band’s Saturday (18 May) concert to lay into Kansas City Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker for his controversial commencement address at Benedictine College.

The 28-year-old NFL star has faced immense backlash for his 20-minute speech, in which he railed against the LGBT+ community and abortion rights and argued that a woman’s “most important title” should be that of a “homemaker”.

While performing at the Las Vegas MGM, Vedder, 59, took a moment to recognize the band’s opening act.

“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,” Vedder said, according to BroBible, referencing Butker’s comments about women.

“There should be pride in homemaking if you’re a man or a woman… It’s one of the hardest jobs and you should definitely take pride in it, but you’re going to benefit by giving up your dreams?” he questioned. “I couldn’t understand the logic, so I’m questioning it in public right now… It’s not a graduation speech.”

Calling out Butker directly, Vedder continued: “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 irony was that when he was saying that, he looked like such a f***ing p***y.

“There’s nothing more masculine than a strong man supporting a strong woman,” he added, causing the crowd to go wild with applause and cheers.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (right) has been lambasted over his commencement address at Benedictine College (Getty Images)
Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker (right) has been lambasted over his commencement address at Benedictine College (Getty Images)

The Pearl Jam singer and guitarist is the latest to publicly condemn Butker’s words. Last week, journalist Maria Shriver hit back at the speech, calling it “demeaning”.

“As a woman who has leaned into my vocation of living a meaningful life and working inside and outside the home to not only raise good humans but also raise up our country in various ways, I think it’s demeaning to women to imply that their choices outside of wife and motherhood pale in comparison to that of a homemaker,” she tweeted.

Thousands have called for the Kansas City football team to release the kicker over his “sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist” remarks.

The National Football League’s senior vice president and chief diversity and inclusion officer, Jonathan Beane, distanced the league from the player’s statements, saying: “Harrison Butker gave a speech in his personal capacity.

“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.”