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NBA referee comes out

ADMISSION: NBA referee Bill Kennedy

VETERAN BASKETBALL referee Bill Kennedy has admitted he is a gay man following comments made by Sacramento Kings player Rajon Rondo.

The confession came after Rondo confronted Kennedy when he was ejected for two technical faults during the Kings game against Boston Celtics on December 3, in Mexico.

Kennedy said: "I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man.

My actions were out of frustration and emotion, period," tweeted Rondo. "They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone."

Rondo received a one-game ban for his comments, but Kennedy has received unanimous backing from those in the game.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated: "I wholeheartedly support Bill's decision to live his life proudly and openly.

"Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage. Those qualities will continue to serve him well both as a game official and as a positive influence for
others."

The 49-year-old has referred over 1,000 NBA games including five NBA Finals. He also worked at London 2012.
Kennedy added: "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."

Kennedy is the second NBA referee to announce being gay after Violet Palmer made the same declaration in 2014 last year after marrying her long-time partner

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