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Former Packer Leroy Butler had church speaking gig canceled over tweet

Packers helmet.
Packers helmet.

MILWAUKEE (WTAQ) - Former Green Bay Packers’ star Leroy Butler said a Wisconsin church canceled his scheduled appearance, after he tweeted his support for gay NBA player Jason Collins.

Butler tells the Journal Sentinel he was supposed to give a presentation against bullying this summer at a church he wouldn’t name. His representative told WTMJ Radio it was north of Milwaukee.

Butler said church officials told him he wouldn’t be welcome unless he removed the tweet, apologized, and asked God to forgive him.

Butler – who won a Super Bowl with the Packers in the 1996 season – said it would have reduced his integrity had he done what the church wanted. He expressed his disappointment on Twitter Tuesday night.

The National Football Post was the first to write about it. He said he was praising Collins for admitting he’s gay – and Butler said he would have played with a gay teammate. He said he wants to be a role model for all kids and, “I don’t judge them.”

The Journal Sentinel said the church has tried reaching Butler to apologize. He said he would accept it, but he would not work with the church again.

Butler said he speaks to several churches each year. Sponsors normally raise his speaking fee – $8,500 – and the church makes money with donations by those attending.