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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Doc Rivers denies using anti-gay slur toward Bill Kennedy


NBA referee Bill Kennedy revealed that he is gay in an interview Sunday night, and his decision to come out publicly has resulted in an old, unflattering rumor about Doc Rivers being brought back to light.

More than five years ago, disgraced NBA referee Tim Donaghy said on a blog talk show that Kennedy is gay and holds a grudge against Rivers because of some derogatory comments Rivers supposedly made during a 2009 playoff game. On Monday, well-known NBA gambler Bob Voulgaris claimed Donaghy was telling the truth and that Voulgaris witnessed it himself.

Rivers insists the incident never took place.

“That was not true,” he said Monday, via Dan Feldman of Pro Basketball Talk. “Sometimes, I hope I have more credibility than where that came from.

“Bill and I have a great relationship. But that’s been out there forever, and I would say this: It’s funny that it’s out there and nobody really asked me the question, because they knew. Not saying you shouldn’t ask the question, but it’s amazing nowadays that all you have to do is blog something or write something, and then it takes on its own life.”

After sounding very certain of what he heard, Voulgaris suddenly started backtracking several hours later.

If you’re going to accuse someone of using an anti-gay slur and claim you heard it yourself, it’s not a good look to later say you believe the person who denies it and that you might have misunderstood the comment. We’re not saying Doc is innocent, but that makes Voulgaris incredibly difficult to believe.

What we do know is that Rajon Rondo hurled a homophobic slur toward Kennedy earlier this month, and the Kings point guard addressed the incident in a series of tweets. Only Kennedy knows for sure if Rivers used the same type of language.

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