LeRoy Butler waited a long time for today.
His induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame came 21 years after his retirement from the NFL and 16 years after he first became eligible for consideration.
“Sixteen years is a long time, but it was worth the wait,” Butler said Saturday.
The former safety became the 28th Packer to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, second-most in the NFL behind only the Bears’ 30.
Butler said playing for the Packers changed his life.
“When you play for the Green Bay Packers, a lot of doors open up,” Butler said. “When you win a Super Bowl, all those doors open up. When you make the Hall of Fame, football heaven opens up. You want to know why? Just guess. It’s rare company. There are 362 guys in the Hall of Fame, and I am No. 357.
“Growing up in Jacksonville, humble beginnings, nah. Nah. Thank you, Duval. Duval County was amazing. But my mom, growing up in poverty, she made us think rich every day, because it’s not about what you have on or what you have, it’s how you act.”
Butler was one of a handful of first-team all-decade players from the 1950s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s and ’90s not in the Hall of Fame before Saturday.
Butler finished his career with 38 interceptions and 20.5 sacks, which makes him one of only four players with at least 35 interceptions and 20 sacks since the NFL made sacks an official statistic in 1982.