NBA referee Bill Kennedy revealed Monday that he is gay.
“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.”
Kennedy’s revelation comes just days after the league handed down a suspension to Kings guard Rajon Rondo allegedly yelled, “you’re a motherfucking faggot. You’re a fucking faggot, Billy” at Kennedy “following his ejection from a game on Dec. 3.”
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued the following statement regarding Kennedy’s decision to come forward:
I wholeheartedly support Bill’s decision to live his life proudly and openly. 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.