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Former Marshall University running back Steward Butler threw away his college career because of homophobia. Butler was arrested Wednesday (May 6) after he attacked a kissing gay couple last month and charged with misdemeanor battery thus getting him booted from the team.

The ordeal began on April 5 when Butler, 23, was in downtown Huntington, W.Va. when he encountered two men kissing on a street corner. Butler reportedly exited the passing vehicle and began calling them names and allegedly punched them both in the face. The victims Casey Williams, 20, and Zack Johnson, 21, were able to get justice in the case as Johnson recorded the attack on his cell phone. Local police used that video evidence to dispute claims from Butler that he acted in self-defense.

The Herald-Dispatch has more:

[Huntington Police Detective Chris] Sperry described Butler as having claimed self-defense, telling police the men approached a vehicle he was riding in with other football players. The criminal complaint referred to the automobile as a “passing vehicle.”

The charges, filed Wednesday, are misdemeanor violations. Sperry said he has turned over evidence to the FBI for its review of any civil rights violations.

The Marshall University football program was made aware of the allegations prior to Wednesday’s arrest.

The running back has 295 carries in rushing for 2,063 yards with 18 touchdowns over three seasons with the Thundering Herd.

Butler, originally from Florida, has three prior arrests on his record for marijuana possession. Marshall officials were made aware of Butler’s charges well before the athlete’s arrest yesterday. The school’s athletic director, Mike Hamrick, announced Butler being cut from the team via Twitter after conferring with coach Doc Holiday.

Photo: YouTube/Derek Reed