Former All-Pro safety and Green Bay Packers star LeRoy Butler was one of the many athletes who showed their support for Washington Wizards center Jason Collins and his recent decision to step forward as the first gay man actively playing in the NBA.
Butler expressed his support of Collins’ decision via his Twitter account on Tuesday, tweeting a four-word message of congratulations to the newly outed man:
Congrats to Jason Collins— leroy butler (@leap36) April 29, 2013
Since the tweet, however, a speaking engagement Butler had booked at a Wisconsin church has reportedly been canceled. According to Butler, the church decided to disengage from the scheduled event because his message in support of Collins conflicted with the church's “moral cause”:
Wow, I was schedule to speak at a church in WI, and a member said that the pastor wants to cancel my event, I said ok why?— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
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,— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
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, I said no,— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
Only god can judge,— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
Thanks for the support , but I thought we can agree to disagree and keep it moving,— leroy butler (@leap36) May 1, 2013
Butler’s work as a public speaker is part of his work as the founder of the LeRoy Butler Foundation, an organization he founded to raise money to support and help women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Obviously, Collins’ announcement has been a lightning rod of controversy in the world of sports, sparking polarizing discussions about sexuality, faith and their place in sports and within the sports media.
Now, we have Butler, the man who invented the Lambeau Leap, embroiled in the churning mix of morality versus acceptance that has consumed this arena of discussion.
It’s a new, more palpable wrinkle to the initial questions raised by Collins’ announcement: Whose morality is right? And can we respect people whose moral compass we disagree with?
On Twitter: Dr__Carson