Rajon Rondo used a derogatory slur towards NBA referee Bill Kennedy after being ejected from the Sacramento Kings' December 3rd game against the Boston Celtics. Days later it was announced that Rondo would be suspended for the Kings' December 12th matchup against the Houston Rockets. Initially, this prompted confusion. The suspension was announced four days after the incident, after the Kings had already played several games. It seemed odd, to say the least. Now, the rest of the story has come to light.
Bill Kennedy publicly came out as gay on Monday. He did this because it provides context as to why Rondo's action were so inexcusable. According to Yahoo's Adrian Wojnarowski, Rondo berated Kennedy.
You're a mother------- f----t. ... You're a f------ f----t, Billy.
This is unnacceptable.
Some may question whether a suspension is deserved. Other players have been fined for using the same slur, but not suspended. So why should Rondo deserve a suspension? After all, some argue, we don't know if Rondo even knew that Kennedy is gay.
But that doesn't matter. It's a derogatory slur that has no place in today's society. No matter what your upbringing, or what words were common as you grew up, there's no excuse for directing that slur at anyone. If you know that person is gay, you're being deliberated bigoted. If you don't know the person is gay, or if the person isn't gay, you're still using a term derogatively. There is simply no excuse.
And obviously fines aren't working. When fines don't deter behavior, you make the punishment harsher. That's pretty simple.
But to make matters worse, there's plenty reason to believe Rondo knew. Via Reds Army.
Rondo absolutely deserved his suspension. He's probably lucky it was only one game. Rondo needs to issue an apology immediately, and he needs to mean it. Standard PR fluff isn't going to fly here.
This is an embarrassment to Rondo, to the Kings, and especially to us fans who have thrown our support behind Rondo. He just went from a feel-good story of the season to yet another disruption in a Kings season full of them.