Ex-Marshall RB faces felony charges for attack on gay couple

In another sad instance of homophobia in sports, former Marshall running back Steward Butler has been charged with two felony civil rights violations.

The Associated Press reported that the accusations against Butler were “contained in indictments unsealed Friday by a Cabell County grand jury.”

The case alleges that back in April, Butler was riding in a car and saw two men kissing each other, shouted slurs from the car before getting out and punching both men in the face. He was arrested and charged with battery, and it was then reported that the Huntington PD turned over evidence to the FBI so it could review it for any civil rights violations.

That’s pretty significant, considering how the State of West Virginia’s civil rights laws don’t include protection re sexual orientation.

Either way, Butler is now off the team and in a great deal of hot water. Though the sports world has a lot of work to do in addressing homophobia, Marshall’s strong stand against Butler’s actions, be they true or simply alleged, is a step in the right direction.

Though he did rush for 2,063 yards and 18 touchdowns over three seasons, it’s obvious that the program cares more about having men who are upstanding citizens on the team than those who get in trouble off the field.

No matter how you look at it, Butler has a lot of soul-searching to do right now.

Marshall went 13-1 (7-1 C-USA) in 2014 and opens the 2015 campaign at home against Purdue on September 6.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

4-Star Nigel Knott catches ball while backflipping off wall
4-Star Nigel Knott catches ball while backflipping off wall