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NBA Ref Bill Kennedy: “Proud To Be A Gay Man”

Posted on December 14, 2015 at 5:21 pm by Lily — 1 Comment

Bill Kennedy, a top NBA referee, has come out following a homophobic outburst from NBA player, Rajon Rondo.

Kennedy, a veteran and respected NBA referee, told Yahoo Sports, “I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man.”

Kennedy emphasized the importance of being an out gay man in the field of athletics and combatting any stigma. “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.”

Support for Kennedy’s admission has been pouring out, including a statement from the National Basketball Association commissioner, Adam Silver.

“I wholeheartedly support Bill’s decision to live his life proudly and openly,” Silver said of Kennedy’s choice to come out publicly. “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.”

In the past 18 years, Kennedy has refereed over one thousand professional NBA games. He also served as a ref in the 2012 Olympics. Kennedy is the second NBA ref to come out as a member of the LGBT community. Last fall, referee Violet Palmer came out publicly as a lesbian.

Kennedy’s announcement comes on the heels of a professional NBA players ejection and use of homophobic slurs. A Sacramento Kings player, Rajon Rondo, was ejected from a game by Kennedy, after racking up multiple technical fouls on December 3. Rondo met this decision with a shameful outburst that included homophobic slurs directed at Kennedy. Rondo continued to “aggressively pursue” Kennedy and had to be restrained by his teammates before being removed from the court by official security.

Rondo was suspended for his homophobic outburst. Both his team, the Sacramento Kings, and the NBA condemned Rondo’s actions. In their ruling, the NBA noted Rando was being punished for, “directing a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner.”

Initially, Rondo denied making the comments. But after investigation within the NBA league proved otherwise, Rondo posted these comments– not an apology– on his Twitter:

  • It’s Me

    I love this quote “…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.”

    Dude, you’re a referee. Get over yourself. Your as much as someone in sports is as the water boy is.

    And these constant prolific announcements of people saying they must come out as an example and role model for kids or others in their field is so silly. No, you don’t have to come out and it is not important. Who cares! Come out or don’t, who gives a rats ass. I’d rather you just shut up and keep it to yourself and your personal life. If someone asks you, then fine, tell them, but shut up with these big announcements. No one cares but the bozo liberal media.