Veteran NBA referee Bill Kennedy publicly announced that he's gay, just days after an incident with Kings point guard Rajon Rondo, which led to a punishment by the league.
“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man," Kennedy told Yahoo Sports. "I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-identified in the hopes that will send a message to young men and women in sports that you must allow no one to make you feel ashamed of who you are."
Rondo was suspended for one game without pay and released a statement today via his twitter account.
My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period!— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) December 14, 2015
They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone.— Rajon Rondo (@RajonRondo) December 14, 2015
Kennedy becomes the second NBA official to come out publicly, following Violet Palmer last year. Rondo's shameful comments are connected to former ref Tim Donahy's 2010 interview in which he reveals that Kennedy is gay and claimed that the ref had a vendetta against then Celtics coach Doc Rivers for using the slur.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver also released a statement in regards to Kennedy's announcement: "I wholeheartedly support Bill's decision to live his life proudly and openly," Silver said. "Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage. Those qualities will continue to serve him well both as a game official and as a positive influence for others. While our league has made great progress, our work continues to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity."