Chiefs to visit White House: Key storylines to know before Super Bowl title celebration

The Kansas City Chiefs will celebrate their second consecutive Super Bowl win at the White House on Friday amid a whirlwind of drama to hit the organization since the clock reached triple zeroes at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas back in February.

The Chiefs topped the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in Super Bowl LVIII to win the title. It was also their third win in five years.

Since that game, the Chiefs have been back in the national spotlight for a number of reasons.

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Read below for a rundown of the biggest storylines around the team before the celebration begins.

Chiefs kicker Harrison Butker drew opinions from both sides of the spectrum over his commencement speech at Benedictine College earlier this month. The speech, rooted in his Christian beliefs, touched on how women have been told “diabolical lies,” how his wife embraced the role of “homemaker” and attacked President Biden for his beliefs on abortion despite being a Catholic.

Butker said last week he had no regrets about his speech.

“It is now, over the past few days, my beliefs or what people think I believe have been the focus of countless discussions around the globe,” he said on May 24. “At the outset, many people expressed a shocking level of hate. But as the days went on, even those who disagreed with my viewpoints shared their support for my freedom of religion.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed that Butker was still invited to the celebration. Last year, Butker wore a tie that read “Vulnerari Praesidio,” which is Latin for “protect the most vulnerable.”

CLICK HERE TO READ HARRISON BUTKER’S FULL SPEECH

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and head coach Andy Reid were among those that spoke up in defense of Butker.

“I’ve known Harrison for seven years. I judge him by the character he shows every single day,” Mahomes said. “We’re not always going to agree, and there are certain things he said that I don’t necessarily agree with. But I know the person he is and he’s doing what he can to lead people in the right direction.”

“There are certain values that some people emphasize more than others. There are certain things I don’t necessarily agree with,” Mahomes said. “I know what kind of person he is. I’m going to look at that first.”

Reid made clear the Chiefs’ locker room was a melting pot of different views and ideas.

“We’re a microcosm of life here. We’re from some different areas. Different religions. Different races. But we get along. We all respect each other’s opinions, and not necessarily do we go by those, but we respect everyone to have a voice,” he said.

Days after the Super Bowl win, the Chiefs’ celebratory parade became the scene of a deadly mass shooting. Calls for gun control immediately spread across social media.

Jean-Pierre was asked this week if Biden would talk about gun-violence prevention with the team, but declined to say what specifically the president would discuss, according to the Kansas City Star.

The Super Bowl parade shooting left one dead and 22 others wounded. Several adults and two juveniles were charged in the shooting.

Rumors about Taylor Swift’s appearance in Washington, D.C., alongside star tight end Travis Kelce have emerged in the days leading up to the event, as well as speculation about her potentially endorsing Biden for the 2024 presidential election.

Swift endorsed Biden in 2020, but no suggestions, so far, that she will endorse him have been made from her side. When asked in February whether he expected an endorsement from Swift, President Biden replied, “it’s classified.”

Jean-Pierre didn’t say whether Swift would be in attendance on Friday, but noted that White House staffers are hopeful.

“That’s a good question. I think the Swifties behind these double doors are hoping that Taylor Swift makes an appearance. I don’t have anything for you,” she said, via The Kansas City Star. “I don’t know. I can’t speak to her schedule, but I know there’s a lot of interest in this building and on campus.”

Swift was in Madrid on Thursday night and could potentially fly to D.C. before resuming her tour for the weekend.

Mahomes is among the faces of the NFL. He waded into political and societal waters by calling on the league to address the murder of George Floyd.

In an interview with Time magazine earlier this year, he refused to endorse either Biden or Donald Trump for president.

“I don’t want to pressure anyone to vote for a certain president,” he told the outlet. “I want people to use their voice, whoever they believe in. I want them to do the research.”

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