After Rajon Rondo slurs, NBA referee Bill Kennedy reveals he is gay

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Kings Guard Rajon Rondo Suspended 1 Game for Dispute with Official


The inclusion of gay men in professional sports still has a long way to go as 2015 comes to a conclusion. Still far too many men and women feel it necessary to keep their sexuality hidden rather flaunt it freely due to the exclusion that often takes place. It often takes a brave individual to stand up and be proud of who they are.

A brave individual like NBA referee Bill Kennedy.

Kennedy chose to come out publicly to Yahoo Sports on Sunday, revealing that he is a gay man in the sports world and that he is extremely proud of who he is.



"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."

SEE ALSO: Pete Rose will reportedly remain banned from Major League Baseball

Kennedy's declaration didn't come easily. In fact, he had been an NBA official for 18 seasons prior to making his sexuality public. However, Kennedy could no longer keep his lifestyle private after the suspension of Rajon Rondo on Friday.

The NBA suspended Rondo for one game without pay after his tirade on December 3rd. In that game, Kennedy issued Rondo a technical foul for arguing. Then, when the guard continued to stare him down, Kennedy gave Rondo a second technical, ejecting him from the game.

See photos of Bill Kennedy over recent NBA seasons

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NBA referee Bill Kennedy
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After Rajon Rondo slurs, NBA referee Bill Kennedy reveals he is gay
CHICAGO - FEBRUARY 24: Referee Bill Kennedy gestures during the game between the Orlando Magic and the Chicago Bulls at the United Center on February 24, 2009 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bulls won 120-102. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2009 NBAE (Photo by Gary Dineen/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 3: Derek Fisher #2 of the Los Angeles Lakers talks to referee Bill Kennedy during the game against the Houston Rockets at Staples Center on April 3, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images)
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker, left, of France, talks with official Bill Kennedy, center front, as Dallas Mavericks center Erick Dampier is seen at right rear, during an NBA basketball game in the first round of the NBA playoffs, Sunday, April 18, 2010, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
ORLANDO, FL - MAY 18: (L-R) Referees Bill Kennedy #55, Joe DeRosa #14 and Marc Davis #34 look on during a stop in play between the Orlando Magic and the Boston Celtics in Game Two of the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NBA Playoffs at Amway Arena on May 18, 2010 in Orlando, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - DECEMBER 30: Referee Bill Kennedy writes notes prior to a game between the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves at EnergySolutions Arena on December 30, 2014 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images)
Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade (3) argues with referee Bill Kennedy during action against the Dallas Mavericks in Game 5 of the 2011 NBA Finals at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, on Thursday, June 9, 2011. The Mavericks took a 3-2 series lead with a 112-103 victory. (Ron Jenkins/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/MCT via Getty Images)
Dallas Mavericks' Jae Crowder (9) watches as referee Bill Kennedy (55) makes a call in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, Monday, April 28, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Referee Bill Kennedy (55) talks to Memphis Grizzlies head coach David Joerger during a preseason NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)
Official Bill Kennedy, center, makes a foul call during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game between the Memphis Grizzlies and Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
New Orleans head coach Monty Williams listens to referee Bill Kennedy in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Portland Trail Blazers in New Orleans, Monday, Jan. 16, 2012. Portland won 84-77. (AP Photo/Michael DeMocker)
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - DECEMBER 03: Rajon Rondo of Sacramento Kings argues with the referee during the match between Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics at Arena Ciudad de Mexico on December 03, 2015 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Hector Vivas/LatinContent/Getty Images)
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In the press release for the suspension, the NBA cited Rondo for, "a derogatory and offensive term towards a game official and not leaving the court in a timely manner upon his ejection." However, tapes of the testimony of all game officials confirmed that the terms were homophobic in nature and were well beyond typical berating of a referee.

As such, it was only a matter of time before questions arose from the media about the nature of the comments. By getting out in front of it, Kennedy shows his strength of character and his resolve to live his life as he sees fit.

See our latest NBA power rankings

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NBA power rankings 12/10
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After Rajon Rondo slurs, NBA referee Bill Kennedy reveals he is gay

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(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

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(Photo by Nathaniel S. Butler/NBAE via Getty Images)

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(Hector Amezcua/Sacramento Bee/TNS via Getty Images)

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