NBA commissioner Adam Silver acknowledged recently that he chose to handle the Rajon Rondo suspension delicately in order to avoid outing referee Bill Kennedy as gay.
Rondo was ejected from the Sacramento Kings’ game on Dec. 3 against the Boston Celtics in Mexico City for using derogatory words against Kennedy and not leaving the court in a timely matter. He received a one-game suspension eight days later on Dec. 11. Three days later, Kennedy publicly revealed that he is gay, which means the homosexual slurs Rondo used against him stung even more.
Appearing as a guest on “The Vertical Podcast with Woj,” Silver said he was very careful about handling the suspension because of Kennedy’s sexual orientation. He says that had he given Rondo multiple games, it would have drawn attention to the matter and led to speculation about the reason for the harsh punishment.
“Had I gone let’s say to two games from one game, or even possibly to three games, it would have been clear that something else was going on here, not just what was apparent on TV,” Silver told Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
“But, while Bill Kennedy was known to be gay by many people in the league, Bill Kennedy had never made that very, very personal decision to publicly come out and announce to the world that he was a gay NBA referee. So, I have to say, in the back of my mind, I was concerned about that.
“It did not seem appropriate to me that I should, by virtue of a bad act by Rajon Rondo, out Bill Kennedy.”
Honestly, had the punishment for Rondo been severe, it would have led me and others to speculate about what the point guard could have said to Kennedy to deserve it. Kennedy’s sexuality would have popped up in my mind as a possible reason. Silver should be commended for considering this when weighing the matter and suspension of Rondo.
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.
Good for Bill Kennedy, one of the most famous ref beefs vs a coach was him vs Doc. Doc used a derogatory term vs him https://t.co/5Z7h77nus4
“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.
RE Doc – I may have conflated BKs reaction w/ what I thought I heard + its been 5 yrs but thats what I came away thinking happened.
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.
Rajon Rondo on Monday addressed the recent incident in which he was suspended for making an offensive comment toward an official and not leaving the court in a timely fashion after being ejected.
Bill Kennedy, the referee Rondo blew up on, came out publicly as gay in an interview with Yahoo Sports over the weekend. In that same story, it was revealed that Kennedy told NBA officials Rondo used a gay slur during the outburst.
Rondo said he did not mean to disrespect Kennedy or anyone else.
My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period!
While there’s no excusing what Rondo said, you’d hate to think he knew Kennedy is gay and was bashing him for that. Though it wouldn’t make it right, hopefully he meant what he said as more of a general insult than a personal attack.
“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.”
Rondo was ejected from the Sacramento Kings’ Dec. 3 loss to the Boston Celtics in Mexico City. Rondo first was given a technical foul by Kennedy, and then he was ejected after following the official and saying more stuff to him.
When interviewed by the league about the matter, Kennedy said Rondo used gay slurs at him. “You’re a mother——- f—-t. … You’re a f—— f—-t, Billy,” Rondo supposedly said.
NBA fans watching the Los Angeles Lakers-San Antonio Spurs game on Wednesday caught a glimpse of a referee admitting on TV that he was stalling for a commercial.
With 5:09 left in the game and a break in the action after Mike D’Antoni called timeout, ESPN ran a promo for the second game of its double-header thinking it was a 20-second timeout. The teams lined up for the Spurs to inbound the ball, but the referees stopped the action from proceeding. The issue is whether D’Antoni would be charged for a full or 20-second timeout given that he didn’t have a 20 left. TV went to a 20-second timeout — which was the promo they ran — and the referees were trying to figure out what to do.
The result was a bunch of players and coaches standing around for a minute while matters were sorted out.
“What I’m doing right now is I’m stalling,” Kennedy told Mike D’Antoni and Gregg Popovich. “I’m stalling for commercial time right now.”
Announcer Jon Barry responded to Kennedy by saying he wasn’t fooling anybody, and then the game cut away to commercial.
There was no harm done, and about all that happened was viewers saw the game stalled for a minute while they were supposed to be seeing commercials. Still a pretty funny blunder.
The Spurs ended up winning the game 108-105 to hand the Lakers their fifth loss in a row.