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Church cancels Packer-player's talk after tweet about gay player

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sports River Falls, 54022

River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

Former Green Bay Packers' star Leroy Butler said a Wisconsin church canceled his scheduled appearance, after he tweeted his support for gay NBA player Jason Collins.

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Butler tells the "Journal Sentinel" he was supposed to give a presentation against bullying this summer at a church he wouldn't name. His representative told WTMJ Radio it was north of Milwaukee.

Butler said church officials told him he wouldn't be welcome unless he removed the tweet, apologized, and asked God to forgive him. Butler - who won a Super Bowl with the Packers in the 1996 season - said it would have reduced his integrity had he done what the church wanted.

He expressed his disappointment on Twitter, and the "National Football Post" was the first to write about it. He said he was praising Collins for admitting he's gay, and Butler said he would have played with a gay teammate.

He said he wants to be a role model for all kids and quote, "I don't judge them." The "Journal Sentinel" said the church has tried reaching Butler to apologize. He said he would accept it, but he would not work with the church again.

Butler said he speaks to several churches each year. Sponsors normally raise his speaking fee of $8,500, and the church makes money with donations from attendees.

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