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Church Cancels Speech By Ex-Packer After He Supports Jason Collins

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Leroy Butler, right, during the Super Bowl in 1997.
Leroy Butler, right, during the Super Bowl in 1997.
Rick Stewart

A church in Wisconsin canceled a planned speech by former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler after he expressed support for NBA player Jason Collins coming out as gay. The church cited a "morals clause," Butler said in a series of tweets:

Wow, I was scheduled to speak at a church in WI, and a member said that the pastor wants to cancel my event. I said ok why? Then I was told, because I said congrats to Jason Collins on Twitter. I said really? we have a contract, he said check the moral cause, FYI the fee was $8,500, then I was told if I removed the tweet, and apologize and ask god forgiveness, I can have the event. I said no, only god can judge.

After Collins came out, Butler tweeted: "Congrats to Jason Collins." Those four words certainly are immoral, so I see the church's point (roll eyes). In later tweets, Butler offered more detail:

I found out what happened, I guess some parents went to the church and complained about my tweet for support of Jason Collins, so sad. My speech is about my life story, and bullying, based on my book the Leroy Butler story.

Butler was going to talk about bullying. How ironic. He is the inventor of the famed "Lambeau Leap," and it was nice that he told the church to take a flying one. He would not give the name of the church, but I will leave the last word to him in great comments he just gave to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:

"This is what bothers me the most. They said, 'If you ask for forgiveness and remove the tweet and you say something to the effect that you don't congratulate (Collins) then we'll let you do the engagement and get the speaker's fee, and I said I'm not doing that," Butler said Wednesday.

"Every gay and lesbian person will say 'You know, LeRoy doesn't speak up for the weak or the silenced. He doesn't stand for anything as a man and he did it for money.' Why would you ask me to reduce my integrity like that?"