Bill Kennedy, the NBA referee who was on the receiving end of a torrent of homophobic slurs from Rajon Rondo, has revealed he is gay. The NBA suspended Rondo for one-game for directing a gay slur at Kennedy in Mexico earlier this month. Here is some interesting context for that from 2010.
Disgraced former NBA referee Tim Donaghy alleged in a 2010 interview (here’s the audio at 1hr 6 mark) that Kennedy was gay and “had no love for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics,” because of a comment Rivers allegedly made about Kennedy’s sexual orientation. Rondo, obviously was a member of that Celtics team.
That’s a difficult question for me to answer because I certainly don’t want to offend anybody… I’m just gonna come out and say it like it is. It’s no secret on the staff that Bill Kennedy is a homosexual… I don’t have any ill will towards gays or lesbians, but it was no secret that he’s a homosexual. It was known around the league, it was obvious during a game Doc Rivers questioned his sexual orientation and I think that has stuck with Kennedy over the years and he has no love for Doc Rivers and the Boston Celtics.
Donaghy discussing what was “known around the league” is hardly rock solid sourcing. There’s no evidence Rivers directed an untoward comment to Kennedy about his sexual orientation. There’s no evidence Kennedy displayed a particular bias against the Celtics, though seasoned Celtics fans might quibble.
However, Rivers and Kennedy did have a notable feud that had already been publicly reported. Both were fined for their actions toward each other during a game in 2009.