Petition Demanding the Chiefs Dismiss Harrison Butker Nears 150,000 Signature Goal

The Kansas City Chiefs kicker's comments, made during a May 11 commencement address, are “harmful” and “unacceptable,” the petition says

<p>Cooper Neill/Getty</p>

Cooper Neill/Getty

A petition calling for the Kansas City Chiefs to kick Harrison Butker off the team has more than 136,000 signatures and counting.

The petition, started by Willard Harris, is encouraging the NFL franchise to cut the kicker due to the “harmful” and “unacceptable” remarks he made during a May 11 commencement address at Benedictine College.

During his speech, the 28-year-old Georgia native spoke about various “diabolical lies told to women,” and offered his take on abortion, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and surrogacy, as well as President Joe Biden. He also said Pride Month represented "deadly sins."

Related: Graduating Student at Harrison Butker's Speech Speaks Out, Says She Booed but He Got 'Standing Ovation'

“His comments were sexist, homophobic, anti-trans, anti-abortion and racist,” the petition states. “These dehumanizing remarks against LGBTQ+ individuals, attacks on abortion rights and racial discrimination perpetuate division and undermine human rights.”

The petition continues, “These comments reinforce harmful stereotypes that threaten social progress. They create a toxic environment that hinders our collective efforts towards equality, diversity and inclusion in society. It is unacceptable for such a public figure to use their platform to foster harm rather than unity.”

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The petition adds that such discriminatory remarks can lead to hate crimes, and it demands accountability from sports figures “who should be role models.”

Harris, the petition organizer, did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for a comment.

By 4 p.m. ET on Thursday, the petition had garnered 136,979 signatures, with an initial goal of 150,000.

Harris and those who signed are the latest to voice their displeasure with the NFL veteran.

On Wednesday, the league itself disavowed Butker's comments, saying in part in a statement to PEOPLE that his "views are not those of the NFL as an organization."

On Thursday, Maria Shriver slammed the speech, joining a growing celebrity chorus of those who are standing up for women’s rights, including rapper Flavor Flav.

Meanwhile, on The View Thursday, co-host Whoopi Goldberg came to Butker’s defense.

Related: Whoopi Goldberg Defends Harrison Butker After Controversial Graduation Speech: ‘These Are His Beliefs’

"Listen, I like when people say what they need to say," Goldberg said. "He’s at a Catholic college, he’s a staunch Catholic. These are his beliefs and he’s welcome to them. I don’t have to believe them. I don’t have to accept them. The ladies who were sitting in that audience do not have to accept them."

The comedian and actress went on to compare Butker to former NFL player Colin Kaepernick, who famously kneeled during the national anthem in 2016. "The same way we want to represent when Colin Kaepernick takes a knee, we want to give respect to people whose ideas are different than ours," Goldberg said.

The petition’s organizer, however, begs to differ.

“Please sign this petition if you stand with us against discrimination and believe in fostering an inclusive society where everyone is treated with dignity and respect,” it said.

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