Green Bay Packers defensive star Reggie White received a hero's welcome of cheers and applause as he walked to the podium before the Wisconsin state legislature in Madison, Wis.
A few minutes into his speech, however, White lost his audience.
Legislators sat silently, shocked and stony-faced, as White espoused theories on homosexuality, race and slavery. He charged on undeterred for nearly an hour as lawmakers sank lower and lower in their chairs.
The United States has gotten away from God, in part by allowing homosexuality to "run rampant," the ordained minister told them. Homosexuality is a sin, and the plight of homosexuals should not be compared to that of blacks, he said.
"Homosexuality is a decision, it's not a race," White said. "People from all different ethnic backgrounds live in this lifestyle. But people from all different ethnic backgrounds also are liars and cheaters and malicious and back-stabbing."
White said he had thought a lot about why God created different races. Each race has certain gifts, he said. Blacks are gifted at worship and celebration, whites are good at organization, White said.
"You guys do a good job of building businesses and things of that nature, and you know how to tap into money," he said. "Hispanics were gifted in family structure, and you can see a Hispanic person, and they can put 20, 30 people in one home."
White said after his speech that his comments were about coming together as a society and taking guidance from God. They were not meant to stereotype the races, he said.