NBA Referee Bill Kennedy Comes Out As Gay – Rajon Rondo Suspended For ‘Faggot’ Comments

“I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man.”

One of the NBA’s top referees, Bill Kennedy, recently revealed to the world that he is gay. The revelation was made via Yahoo Sports on Sunday night, with Kennedy adding, “I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-indentified 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.”

While Kennedy, 49, declined to further comment besides his announcement, NBA commissioner Adam Silver shared words of encouragement through a statement to Yahoo Sports. “I wholeheartedly support Bill’s decision to live his life proudly and openly,” he said. “Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage.”

Silver added, “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.”

Kennedy’s announcement follows the NBA’s suspension of Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo, who game officials — including Kennedy — heard unleash words of anti-gay slurs after his ejection from a game on December 3 in Mexico City.

After Kennedy ejected Rondo with consecutive technical fouls in a Kings loss to the Boston Celtics, Rondo, instead of following orders, decided to pursue Kennedy, who had retreated to a far sideline of the floor.

According to the game officials’ report, Kennedy and fellow referee Ben Taylor described Rondo’s post-ejection onslaught, including Rondo allegedly stating, “You’re a mother******* faggot… You’re a f****** faggot, Billy.”

Reportedly, a third official outside of hearing distance, Bennie Adams, “affirmed that Rondo aggressively pursued referee Bill Kennedy and had to be restrained by teammates and escorted off the floor by Sacramento team security.”

National Basketball Referee’s Association general counsel Lee Seham said, “The NBA referees stand by Bill Kennedy for the job he does and who he is. We stand against bigotry in all its forms.”

On Rondo’s suspension, the NBA released a statement saying he had been punished for “directing a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner.”

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Regina is a Fine Arts graduate who expresses herself through various mediums. She finds amusement in pop culture, enjoys video games, and watches way too many YouTube videos on a daily basis.