Former Green Bay Packers strong safety LeRoy Butler will speak at Northern Michigan University about how he overcame physical problems as a child to become a four-time Pro Bowl honoree and Super Bowl champion. His presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 21, in the University Center Great Lakes Rooms. Admission is free for NMU students and $2 for the general public.
Butler played his entire professional career (1990-2001) with the Packers. He was born in 1968 in Jacksonville, Fla. where his mother, Eunice, supported Butler and his four siblings by working as a secretary and then a nurse. The family lived in a small apartment in the “crime-infested” Blodgett Homes housing project.
Along with the problems of poverty and crime, Butler was born pigeon-toed to the point that doctors had to break bones in both of his feet when he was 8 months old to correct the problem. He spent much of his early youth in a wheel chair and wore leg braces between the ages of 6-8. At the time, doctors predicted that Butler would be lucky if he ever walked normally. But when he was 8 years old, Butler discovered he no longer needed his leg braces. Not only did he discover that he could walk, but he could also run, soon faster than most of the kids in the neighborhood.
By the time he was 10, Butler starred on the neighborhood football team. After junior high, he was recruited by Robert E. Lee High School. There he earned seven varsity letters: three in football and two each in basketball and track. By his senior year, Butler was an All-American pick and accepted a football scholarship to Florida State University.
The Packers selected Butler in the second round of the 1990 draft. He played in 181 regular season games, 14 postseason games, earned a Super Bowl ring and was selected to the Pro Bowl four times. He was named to the NFL 1990s All-Decade Team by the Pro Football Hall of Fame and later inducted into the Green Bay Packers Hall of Fame in 2007.
NMU Platform Personalities and the Student Activity Fee are sponsoring this event.