Church cancels ex-GB Packer LeRoy Butler over support for gay athlete

LeRoy Butler, American football player

I know ’round these parts (We broadcast from near Green Bay), the Packers are a pretty big deal. Did this church do the right thing?

Ex-Packers star LeRoy Butler loses speaking gig at church over support for gay athlete

Story via Gannett Wisconsin Media/Post Crescent

Former Green Bay Packers safety LeRoy Butler said Wednesday that a Wisconsin church canceled his July appearance because he tweeted congratulations to NBA player Jason Collins, who revealed Monday that he is gay.

Butler said he has previously spoken at the church, which he declined to identify.

“I speak about not bullying people and then I do a football camp,” he said.

But Butler said a church representative called him Tuesday night inquiring about the tweet, which said: “Congrats to Jason Collins.”

“They asked, ‘Did you go on Twitter and congratulate some gay guy?’” Butler said. “I said, yeah, a basketball player who came out.

“They said, ‘Well, we can’t have you talk about that.’ Not that it was what I was going to talk about anyway, but I said, ‘Why not?’ And they said I had to talk to the pastor, and that’s when it got heated. I don’t know the exact Bible verse, but he was telling me that God doesn’t like homosexuals.”

Butler said he was to be paid $8,500 for the private appearance, but that the speaking fee comes from sponsors, not the church.

“They said, ‘If you apologize and take the tweet down and ask God for forgiveness, we’ll let you speak,’ and I said I wouldn’t do that,” he said.

“I wasn’t trying to be political or anything, you know me, I love everyone, and I just want come speak to the kids and help the kids, but the pastor said some parents said if the speaker supports gay and lesbians we will not attend.”

Collins is the first active player in the four major U.S. professional sports leagues to come out. He did so in a first-person story published in Sports Illustrated.

“I don’t get upset a lot, but last night, I was upset,” said Butler, who tweeted the exchange with the pastor late Tuesday night.

“It’s not political. I teach my kids to mind their own business and love everyone.”

Butler, 44, played for the Packers from 1990 to 2001. He since has had several business ventures, has worked in motivational speaking and broadcasting and has a charitable foundation. He was inducted into the Packers Hall of Fame in 2007.

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16 Responses to Church cancels ex-GB Packer LeRoy Butler over support for gay athlete

  1. J says:

    I'm glad to see a Pastor take a stand whoever this might be. Like you guys have said persecution is coming to us because there are some Christians who will stand up for God's word.
    What's wrong with being married and having kids?


  2. Darrel says:

    Cudos to the church and pastor. Wonder how long it will be before someone screams "hate-crimes" and tries to bring those invloved up on charges?


  3. Rose says:

    He was to be paid $8.500 for a talk about bullying and to conduct a football camp?!!! And this church has that kind of money to pay for it?! I am glad for the stand the church took. That is commendable. Even if the guy didn't talk about gays, he has already put his cards on the table and so he is not a good role model for Christian youth. But why have this man come speak at the church in the first place? Does he claim to be a Biblical Christian…is that why he was invited?… or was it because he is a big name football player and it would have been a big draw for the 'seekers'?

    I don't know the whole situation. But if it was an effort to appeal to 'seekers', it backfired on them. Bring in good solid Bible teachers to speak to the youth. How about a Paul Washer, Voddie Baucham or Ray Comfort (to name a few). I guarantee those men of God will not charge a huge fee and there will be no embarassment or need to cancel. And the true gospel will be preached…whether the 'seekers' like it or not.


  4. Ramon says:

    No one is perfect. Everyone is a sinner. This is completely wrong. When Jesus walked this earth, his most important message was to love everyone as The Lord loved us.

    Leroy Butler, you led with love and only God can judge you. No one in this world has that power over you. Stand up for what you believe in. God Bless


  5. Rita Tischer says:

    Yes, the church did the right thing. Homosexuality is a Biblically condemned sin and to congratulate someone for it stoops to the same incredibly ludicrousness as congratulating someone for committing a murder or for pulling off a theft or having a successful adulterous affair. To hold anyone up as an example who embraces tolerance of unbiblical principles is to send a wrong and mixed message to our already vulnerable and often confused kids.


  6. Rose says:

    Yes, everyone is a sinner, but Christians no longer love to sin. And that is the difference between us and the world. And when we do sin, we are not comfortable in it. We certainly do not celebrate it. Instead, we go to God asking forgiveness and help to not continue in the sin. When the woman caught in adultery was brought to Jesus, He didn't condemn her. He forgave her. Yet His last words to her were, "Go and sin no more." He made it clear with that statement that continuing in her sinful lifestyle was not an option if she truly loved Him.

    If, as you say, Jesus' most important message was 'to love everyone as He loved us', then why would you not tell the sinner to repent and turn from his sin? Why won't you warn him of judgment to come? Jesus' most important message was to repent, turn from sin and be saved and then to love others enough to warn them to do the same. To just 'love' everyone and accept them in their sin, that was never Jesus' message. And, it is not loving.


  7. Gary says:

    LeRoy was only showing support for another human being, what is wrong with that?


  8. Ralph says:

    This week, after Sport Illustrated came out, a long time NBA Player came 'out of the closet' and admitted he was a homosexual.

    The timing is very telling, to say the least, but a lot has been left out in this 'reveal' that more Christian's should be taking under account.

    Jason Collins, a retread NBA center in the twilight of his career, who came bursting out of the closet declaring on Sports Illustrated that he is a homosexual.

    He'll grab lucrative endorsements to replace the NBA income he is about to lose, is a free agent, & NBA teams will understandably be reluctant to take on a fading player who contributes a scant 1.1 points to the offense & introduce unwelcome sexual tension into the locker room.

    He's been nauseatingly celebrated & praised for his "bravery" in 'coming out'…yet, ask his brother about this. Not many have.

    Jason Collins has an identical twin, Jaron, who was "astounded" to discover that his brother had entered into the homosexual lifestyle.

    Jaron, despite sharing Jason's identical DNA, is straight (heterosexual) interestingly enough.

    Identical twins share traits that are genetic: height, skin color, eye color, hair color and so forth. If homosexuality is a genetically-caused sexual preference, Jaron Collins should be a homosexual as his brother.

    I repeat again, Jaron, Jason's identical twin, is not a homosexual. So, if they were living in the same fluids, growing at the same time, fed the same way and being cared for by the same mom…what gives?

    'What gives' is life experience/choices shape sexual preferences, not DNA ( )

    No one is "born gay." & we have Jason Collins to thank for proving that to all of us.(…. )

    On a side note to all of this being broadcast on ESPN, If anybody is demonstrating bravery, it's Chris Broussard, who called out, live, that homosexuality a "sin," and spoke truth to power when he said "Living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, I believe that's walking in open rebellion to God and Jesus."

    Instead of rewarded, Chris Broussard is now looking in to releasing his from his job.

    By the way, Jason Collins also says he is a Christian, and that falls to an even larger problem in our churches, clergy and families raising their children.

    At least for me, this shows most have eyes of this world, and will reflect that value, much as many who professed to be Christians in the churches of Corinth, that Paul had such a hard time getting out of the churches, proclaiming immorality as of God, to the point that Communion led to getting drunk and sexual immorality within those churches.

    Very few will have the guts and standing, to call the fraud called of God out, and the true one that the immorality is of, mans will/lust/desire/covet/pride and Satan lies.

    Many churches cater to the value of satan. Obviously, Jason Collin's church does.

    But we can't allow the hypocrite card to creep in on this. Adultery, sex before marriage, homosexuality, masturbation, our lustful thoughts. The ONLY given blessing of sex, which God gives, is after marriage between a man and a woman. An institution that has a verbal covenant between man and woman and God, and a physical covenant by the woman in virginity, what use to be called a part of the 'blood covenant, that gave proof of commitment and truth, to the consummation of marriage, which the best man held a key position of that conformation, in the groom saying it verbally, and later the proof of blood on the sheets, celebrated throughout the 7 days the wedding party went on for…on a side note, the only 'vacation' most ever had in their entire lives in those days.


  9. J says:

    God will judge Leroy for his actions. We as so called Christians can not approve of the homosexual lifestyle. God says in his word it's wrong. Yes we are to love the sinner but hate the sin.


  10. Rose Doddato says:

    Is encouraging someone to continue in their sin really a show of support? Would you 'show support' for the sin of murder… lying…or stealing..or any other human action that God calls sin and an abomination? If we truly cared about people, we would lovingly confront/expose the sin and then share the gospel message so they can be set free. The homosexual lifestyle is a life of bondage not freedom. It often leads to broken relationships since few gay couples stay together long term. It leads to sexually transmitted diseases and often early death as well. And you think we should support someone in that!


  11. D says:

    I'm glad the church took this stand, but I think it should serve as a rebuke to churches for being so loose and reckless in inviting men to speak whom they clearly do not know well; the Church needs to be on guard against men who will present themselves, sometimes using their fame, to teaching (especially to our children), but who are nonetheless godless men.


    • Rose says:

      Yes, pastors need to take more seriously their duty to protect the flock, especially impressionable youth.


    • Amy Spreeman says:

      D, this is a very good point and exactly what we were trying to get across in today's program. This is a national story now, but it is so much bigger than a sports player or just one church. This is a wakeup call, as you have said, and a lesson we can all learn from.


  12. Geof says:

    Jesus came to the earth to preach repentance from sin (Mat 4.17). Love others was the mode in which it is to be done. (Mat 10:16)


  13. Affinity says:

    Please read the old testament. the old testament is given to the church age as a warning and instruction concerning the holy things of God. The cross did not eliminate the word of God in the old, the only thing it eliminated is the sacrificial laws and made them personal in the form of Jesus bearing our sin. much of what was abominable in the Lord's eyes back then in the old still holds to today–this takes discernment and understanding from the Holy Spirit to understand what is for today and what is not…unfortunately most pastors today do not read the old testament so they dont feed and warn their flock.


  14. D says:

    "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome." 1 John 5:2-3

    "For you know what commandments we gave you through the Lord Jesus. For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that you should abstain from sexual immorality; that each of you should know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor, not in passion of lust, like the Gentiles who do not know God… For God did not call us to uncleanness, but in holiness. Therefore he who rejects this does not reject men, but God, who has also given us His Holy Spirit." 1st Thessalonians 4:1-5, 7-8

    Jesus is perfect, and it is He that goes out before us as our Shepherd. It's a demonic deception to assume that loving someone means to ignore their sin and "affirm them where they are". Rather, God's will is that men everywhere repent in the name of Jesus Christ and receive the remission of their sins.

    The "affirming gospel" is a counterfeit gospel that is not the Salvation declared to us by Jesus Christ and His apostles.


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