Brad Butler in 2011.
|Date of birth:||September 18, 1983|
|Place of birth:||Lynchburg, Virginia|
|Height:||6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)|
|Weight:||315 lb (143 kg)|
|NFL draft:||2006 / Round: 5 / Pick: 143|
|Career highlights and awards|
|Career NFL statistics as of 2009|
Bradley Jay Butler, Jr. (born September 18, 1983 in Lynchburg, Virginia) is a former American football guard and tackle for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League. He was drafted by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played high school football at E.C. Glass High School and college football at the University of Virginia.
Butler is one of three Cavaliers in school history to start four consecutive bowl games. He started thirty-one consecutive games at right tackle, the longest streak at the University of Virginia since 1998. As a senior Butler started all eleven games he played and was one of the most versatile linemen in the ACC. Butler drew attention in 2005 when he hit Boston College defensive end Mathias Kiwanuka in the back of his knees after the whistle, in what is referred to as "the cheap shot heard 'round the ACC." Butler received the Rock Weir Most Improved Player Award and the Judge and Mrs. Harold H. Purcell Family Football Scholarship.
At the University of Virginia Butler interned at the Center for Politics for two semesters. Butler studied under Larry Sabato, the Director of the Center for Politics. The Center for Politics, a nonpartisan unit of the University of Virginia, seeks to promote the value of politics and the importance of civic engagement. Butler was a member of St. Anthony Hall, which is a national college literary society. He engaged in activities that further the social and intellectual development by encouraging individual expression, promoting the exchange of ideas by providing a forum for discussion and presentations. Butler attended the prestigious Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics at the University of Virginia majoring in American Politics.
While football was a large part of his life, Butler also worked with urban youth and impoverished community initiatives. Since college Butler has held a strong passion for service and hard work, which he displays with the utmost humility, devotion and generosity. Conservative Jack Kemp fostered Butler’s inspiration as a strong believer in empowering the marginalized (particularly within inner-city and rural settings) and helping them to rise out of, and beyond their compromised situations.
Civic and community service outreach
In the spring of 2008 and 2009 Butler, and then teammate George Wilson, partnered with the Buffalo Public Schools to reach out to a specific demographic of marginalized: inner-city youth. Butler and Wilson made weekly visits to area schools and directly addressed students on the importance of education, making the right life choices, and other life skills. They offered assemblies focused on various initiatives such as nutrition, health and fitness, responsibility, and teamwork. Butler also used the school system as a means of sharing the importance of literacy and would read to classrooms in local schools. The program, "That's Life" and was sponsored by Kodak and was supported by many in the Buffalo community.
Throughout January 2010 Butler visited several central Virginia area schools in coordination with the University of Virginia's Center for Politics’ Youth Leadership Initiative. Butler’s visits promoted the importance of civics and government to young students in the area, many of whom utilize the Youth Leadership Initiative’s free educational materials in their classrooms. Butler was hoping to inspire the next generation to become engaged in civic affairs whether through football, academics, or community service. Butler is not particular to just aiding inner-city youth but rural as well. He spent time in 2010 working with the Center For Politics and he offered his time to schools in western Virginia as well as West Virginia.
When not offering his time and service domestically, Butler may be spotted abroad. In 2009, he offered aid to US troops overseas as a means of helping bring soldiers back to reality. There were tough, long hours spent serving and accompanying his war-type brethren, but Butler exclaims that his time in the Middle East with the soldiers was an incredible blessing to his life today.
Ultimately Butler has engaged with community in continuous occasions and interprets life as a vast platform to serve others; specifically those less fortunate in inner-city and rural settings.
During the 2008 offseason Butler worked for Kemp Partners, a government relations firm formerly headed by Buffalo Bill quarterback and United States Vice-Presidential candidate Jack Kemp. While at Kemp Partners, Butler attended Congressional hearings, performed research, and participated in day-to-day operations. There, Butler developed a strong relationship with Jack Kemp based upon their mutual NFL experience and passion for politics and intellectual pursuit. Challenged by Kemp, Butler worked with the NAACP and other groups to help felons regain their voting rights. Butler valued his time at Kemp Partners not solely for the unique opportunities presented, but because of the extremely intentional integrity which he imparted from Jack; a compassionate, high-character, passion for serving others type of integrity. Brad continues to uphold values championed by Jack Kemp as well as support and promote the Jack Kemp Foundation.
Butler was drafted by the Bills in the fifth round of the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in two games with the Bills in his rookie season. On September 2, 2007 he was named the starting right guard for the Bills. Butler flourishes in fast-paced, high-demand situations where he exhibits hard work and good communication as well as a team-first mentality. Multiple times he transitioned positions as a means of helping the team succeed. In 2009, Butler was voted to USA Today's All-Joe Team which honors hardworking and valuable players who are overlooked. He retired from professional football after the 2009 season to devote more time to his passion for education, country, and community. His retirement statement encapsulates his true passions and goals in life and that more than sport or government, his passions are people and helping them!
Butler's retirement statement
“I would like to thank Mr. Wilson, my teammates and the entire Bills Nation for giving me the opportunity to represent the Buffalo Bills for the past four years. Playing in the National Football League has been a tremendous opportunity and a great blessing. However, my passion for education, country and community is something that I am ready to devote my full attention to. I believe the best way to pursue these spheres of interest is to step away from the game of football at this point in my life. I will always remember my time spent in Western New York with great affection. I wish my teammates and Bills fans the best of luck next season and into the future.”
- Video on YouTube
- National Football League