Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder slams Harrison Butker: “People of quality do not fear equality”

Eddie Vedder performs at the Grand Ole Opry House during a tribute to Leslie Jordan Sunday, February 19, 2023
Eddie Vedder performs at the Grand Ole Opry House during a tribute to Leslie Jordan Sunday, February 19, 2023 Photo: Alan Poizner for The Tennessean / USA TODAY NETWORK

Pearl Jam frontman Eddie Vedder called out NFL player Harrison Butker for saying that women graduating college this year should ignore the “diabolical lies” about how they should take pride in having a career.

Butker, who plays for the Kansas City Chiefs, has faced public criticism for his comments during his commencement speech earlier this month at Benedictine College, where he ranted about “dangerous gender ideologies” and complained that Pride is a “deadly sin” that “has an entire month dedicated to it.”

“Be unapologetic in your masculinity. Fight against the cultural emasculation of men,” he said in his speech, where he also complained about IVF, abortion, and surrogacy.

Vedder, 59, decided to call out Butker at a concert in Las Vegas this past Saturday. Between songs, Vedder thanked the opening act, Deep See Diver, a band fronted by Jessica Dobson.

“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 in a video that has been shared on YouTube by fans.

“For some people, there should be pride in homemaking whether you’re a man or a woman… it’s one of the hardest jobs and you should take pride in it, but you shouldn’t not follow a dream because you think that is the more… that you’re gonna benefit from giving up those dreams? I couldn’t understand the logic,” he continued.

“The irony was that this football player- kicker… He was telling men, ‘Don’t forget to puff up your chests and be more masculine. Don’t lose your masculinity.’ The irony was that when he was saying that he looked like such a f**king pu**y,” Vedder said. “There’s nothing more masculine than a strong man supporting a strong woman.”

“People of quality do not fear equality!”

“That woman, Jessica, she’s not fronting a band playing in Las Vegas and being on tour because she decided, ‘Yeah, I’ll just take a back seat and support a man.’”

Vedder has a history of speaking out for equality. In 2016, he spoke out against North Carolina’s H.B. 2, a law that banned local governments from passing LGBTQ+ protections and banned trans people from using the correct bathroom.

“We thought we could take the money and give it to them and still play the show, but the reality is there is nothing like the immense power of boycotting and putting a strain,” Vedder said on social media at the time, explaining why Pearl Jam canceled their show in Raleigh. “It’s a shame because people are going to be affected that don’t deserve it but it could be the way that ultimately is gonna affect change, so again, we just couldn’t find it in ourselves in good conscience to cross a picket line when there was a movement.”

“We had to make a real tough call about what we would do about the situation in North Carolina. Because they have a law there that broadly discriminates against a whole group of people.”

In 1992, Vedder wrote an op-ed supporting abortion rights in SPIN.

“As individuals in this ‘free’ country, we must have the right to choose when that time is right,” he wrote at the time. “A couple — perhaps 15 or 16 years old, maybe 10 years older — is faced with an unwanted pregnancy; it makes no difference if there is no means of support. They’re questioning whether they can provide a proper climate in which to raise a child. A healthy question for both them and society itself.”

“A right to a healthy future should be the consideration.”

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