Bill Kennedy, an NBA referee for 18 seasons, revealed that he is gay after being the subject of homophobic insults from Sacramento guard Rajon Rondo, Yahoo Sports reported on Monday.
Rondo was banned on Friday for one game after repeated insults and a confrontation with Kennedy during a December 3 game between the Kings and Boston at Mexico City. Kennedy ejected Rondo on two technical fouls to arouse the player’s anger.
“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.”
“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.