Dolphins' Mike McDaniel has advice for players following Harrison Butker's speech: 'You better believe it'

Since Harrison Butker delivered his faith-based commencement speech, many have said their thoughts and opinions about whether they’re for or against the message he showered over the graduates at Benedictine College. 

Miami Dolphins head coach Mike McDaniel was the latest to answer a question about what he thought of Butker’s speech, specifically how he handles players in his own locker room who may speak up on their beliefs. 

“I think you do have to open the eyes of the players to their platform if they’re new to the situation,” McDaniel told reporters, via Yahoo Sports. “I think you have to understand that what you say publicly can be fragmented and last with you forever. 

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“I really emphasize that whatever you’re going to say, you better believe it. You just try to educate people to understand the consequences of whatever they do. They have the freedom of choice, and if they want to go that direction, go right ahead.”

Many instances over decades of sports have shown McDaniel’s comment about the players’ views sticking with them forever is right. A prime example comes from the NFL, as San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is known for kneeling during the national anthem among other statements regarding police brutality. 

Tommie Smith and John Carlos’ “Black Power” salute at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics will forever be stuck to their athletic careers like tattoos. 

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These are individuals who believed what they were standing up for, and while Butker’s speech had nothing to do with civil rights, the same rules apply: He will be remembered for this speech as well as his stellar performances on the gridiron. 

There has been division in opinions about whether Butker had the wrong message in his speech, specifically the portion where he made a remark directed at the female graduates, calling on them to embrace their “vocation” as a “homemaker.”

“For the ladies present today, congratulations on an amazing accomplishment,” he began. “You should be proud of all that you have achieved to this point in your young lives. 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 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 can tell you that my beautiful wife, Isabelle, would be the first to say her life truly started when she began living her vocation as a wife and as a mother. I’m on this stage today and able to be the man that I am because I have a wife who leans into her vocation. I’m beyond blessed with the many talents God has given me, but it cannot be overstated that all of my success is made possible because a girl I met in band class back in middle school would convert to the faith, become my wife and embrace one of the most important titles of all: homemaker.”

Many have attacked Butker for saying such a statement, while others have championed him for speaking to his faith at the Catholic college. 

Either way one looks at it, Butker’s speech will be attached to him for quite some time, and many others, including his head coach Andy Reid, who is expected to speak to reporters this week, will have their say on the situation.

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