Local ref comes out after NBA player's slur

Posted at 3:30 PM, Dec 14, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-14 17:30:17-05

A local NBA referee revealed he is gay Monday after an NBA player was suspended for reportedly directing a series of anti-gay slurs at the ref.

"I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man," Phoenix native and resident Bill Kennedy told Yahoo Sports after Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo was suspended for one game for his comments toward Kennedy.

"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," the 49-year-old Kennedy said.

Rondo received two technical fouls and was ejected by Kennedy during the Kings' Dec. 3 game against the Boston Celtics in Mexico City.

After he was ejected, "Rondo defied league protocol to immediately leave the court and began stalking Kennedy, who had retreated to a far sideline of the floor," Yahoo Sports reported.

At that point, Rondo reportedly hurled a number of anti-gay slurs at Kennedy. An NBA investigation of Rondo's comments led to his suspension.

Rondo responded via Twitter on Monday afternoon.

Kennedy has worked over 1,100 NBA games and has also officiated CBA, WNBA and international basketball games.