Antioch Bible Church pastor and former Seattle Seahawk linebacker Ken Hutcherson died Tuesday, church officials said. He was 61.
Hutcherson had been battling cancer for several years. In a statement church officials asked for prayers for his family and for privacy.
Hutcherson was loved by his congregation and disliked by others for his stance against gay marriage.
“I can never be excited about sin winning,” he said after voters passed Referendum 74 in Washington, legalizing same-sex marriage. Hutcherson vowed to keep fighting to have the Washington State Constitution specify that marriage was between a man and a woman.
In 2005 Hutcherson threatened a boycott of Microsoft because they supported a gay rights bill. Microsoft withdrew support for the bill in the state Legislature, but claimed that its decision came before a meeting with Hutcherson.
Born in Anniston, Ala., Hutcherson played for Livingston University and was starter on the 1971 NAIA national championship team. A fourth-round NFL draft pick, Hutcherson played for the Dallas Cowboys, the San Diego Chargers and the Seattle Seahawks.
After playing for the Seahawks in the late 1970s, he studied at Cascade Bible College in Bellevue. He started Antioch Bible Church in Kirkland in 1984 and was ordained two years later.