Church bans Butler for backing Collins

The SportsXchange

A congratulatory tweet to Jason Collins cost former Packers' safety LeRoy Butler $8,500 and a speaking engagement at a Wisconsin church.

Butler posted to his Twitter account "Congrats to Jason Collins" on Monday afternoon, after the story broke of the NBA player coming out in a Sports Illustrated cover story.

Citing a morals clause, that was enough for a church Butler wouldn't name to pull his $8,500 speaking engagement -- an anti-bullying presentation -- scheduled for this summer. Donations collected during the event were earmarked for the church's youth.

Butler said he refused to retract the statement and ask God for forgiveness as the church demanded if he wanted to keep the speaking appearance.

"FYI, the fee was 8500$,then I was told if i removed the tweet and apologize and ask god forgiveness, I can have the event," Butler said via Twitter (@leap36). "I said no."

In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Butler said he remains driven to be a role model and disagrees wih the church's position because "Only God can judge." He repeated the statements to the church and said his tweet was not about religion or politics, but congratulations for a major decision in a man's life.

"This is a form of bullying, what you're doing," Butler told the pastor, accoridng to the Journal-Sentinel. " You're trying to get me to do something I don't want to do."

Butler said the church didn't see things from his viewpoint.

"He disagreed, and I said, 'We agree to disagree' and he said 'No, I'm right and you're wrong.' "
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