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LeRoy Butler says church shunned him after Jason Collins tweet

By Houston Mitchell

10:53 AM PDT, May 2, 2013

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Former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler says a church he was scheduled to speak at canceled his appearance after Butler sent out a tweet in support of Jason Collins, the NBA player who said earlier this week that he was gay.

According to Butler, not long after sending the following tweet: "Congrats to Jason Collins", Butler got a call from a member of the church and was told the church would cancel his presentation unless he removed the tweet, apologized and asked for God's forgiveness.

"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 told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on 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?"

Butler, who refused to name the church other than to say it is in Wisconsin, said he was to be paid $8,500 to give an anti-bullying talk.

When he pointed out the church's attempt to force him to back down was an example of the kind of treatment he had planned to talk about at the church, the church official said, "He disagreed, and I said, 'We agree to disagree,' and he said, 'No, I'm right and you're wrong.' "

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