“Wasn’t no controversy for me,” Butler, 34, said to Rolling Stone in an interview published on Monday, October 2. “I don’t even know what happened. I heard about it. I didn’t see the video. I didn’t look much into it and I’m not going to look much into it. I don’t think he’s a bad human being in any way, shape or form.”
He continued: “He is a friend of mine, and I don’t know what happened. Obviously, it was a mistake, I think he learned from it, I think he knows better and I don’t know what was said and in what context, but I think he’s an incredible human being who made a mistake.”
In February 2021, TMZ posted a video of Wallen, 30, saying: “Take care of this p–sy-ass n–ga.” In the aftermath of the video, Wallen’s recording contract was suspended with Big Loud Records and his music was removed from radio stations and streaming services. He was also banned from attending the 2021 Billboard Music Awards. The “Whiskey Glasses” singer later apologized for his behavior, and said he wished he could “take it back.”
The Miami Heat player, for his part, told Rolling Stone that he fell in love with country music in 2010. During Game 1 of the NBA Finals versus the Denver Nuggets in June, Butler had his pal Wallen’s music playing in the arena and told the outlet that he even talked with Wallen about coming on stage in Toronto and singing “one line of a song” for his birthday on September 14.
“I don’t want to tell anyone who I’ve been writing with because then it’ll ruin the surprise,” he said. “Now, I’m in the lab writing and producing country music. We got some real artists and songwriters. We probably got around 45 tracks right now, and I hope to go write some more.”
Butler — who is under contract with the Heat until 2026 — shared there’s “definitely” going to be an album but there is no set date of when it will be released.
“The date I want to do it always gets pushed back because this other job that I have, playing basketball, kind of overshadows everything,” he said. “And maybe some of the songs will be down the line for my second or third album. I can’t wait to get it to the people.”