NEW YORK (AP) — Veteran NBA referee Bill Kennedy has told Yahoo Sports he is gay after Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo directed a gay slur at him during a game.
Kennedy tells Yahoo that he is “proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man,” adding that he chose to come out in hopes of sending a message “that you must allow no one to make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
Rondo was suspended one game by the NBA for directing a derogatory and offensive term toward a referee in the Kings’ game against Boston in Mexico on Dec. 3. Rondo apologized Monday and the Kings said his comments were disrespectful and offensive.
Kennedy is in his 18th season as an NBA official, having worked more than 1,050 regular-season games and five in the NBA Finals.