Former NFL player barred from church after congratulating Jason Collins

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A former NFL player who congratulated NBA player Jason Collins on coming out publicly was forced to cancel a Wisconsin church appearance after the church demanded an apology and a retraction of his comments.

But LeRoy Butler refused, losing his $8,500 speaking fee from the church because he sent a congratulatory tweet to Collins, who shocked the sporting world this week by coming out publicly as gay.

According to Butler, the church still offered him a chance to appear, but he would have had to take back his congratulations, which he refused.

Since Collins came out, Butler has appeared in an interview with Anderson Cooper, and explained his reasons for not wanting to retract the congratulations.

“Some 16-year-old kid is somewhere in a closet with his father’s gun that he found,” he said.

“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 was gay, or they suspect that he’s gay. 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.”

429Magazine

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