Leroy Butler, the former Green Bay Packer whose church speaking engagement was canceled after he tweeted a note of congratulations to out athlete Jason Collins, tells Anderson Cooper the church offered to let him speak if he agreed to their conditions. The pastor insisted Butler would not only have to remove the tweet but he would have to ask God to forgive him for having sent it. Oh, and the topic on which he was to speak? Bullying!
During on interview on Anderson Cooper 360, Butler said he the stipulations angered him and he declined.
“So basically you’re asking me to … some 16-year-old kid is somewhere in a closet with his father’s gun that he found and he’s thinking about putting it to his head because he’s been tormented in school every single day because they may have found out he is gay, or they suspected he’s gay,” Butler argued. “He doesn’t have a voice right now. You’re asking me to take all that back so he doesn’t have a voice. I won’t do that.”
Butler, who speaks to young people at churches each summer refused to bend.
“That’s taking my dignity, my respect away. I want that young man to come out of the closet, put the gun down, and you’re a part of society. When did we get to this, starting to judge who gets to be a part of what society? It just bothers me. And I told the pastor to blame it on my mom because my mom brought me up to love everybody.”
The former Green Bay Packers safety has declined to name the church because he doesn’t want it to be subjected to any kind of extreme reaction to its decision.