On Sunday, Kennedy revealed to Yahoo Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski that he is gay.
San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich told Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post that he was not surprised by Rondo's comments (via ProBasketballTalk):
Why would I be surprised? You see it all the time. It's unfortunate, it's disgusting, because Billy is a great guy, and has been a class act on and off the court. As far as anybody's sexual orientation, it's nobody's business. It just shows ignorance to act in a derogatory way toward anybody in the LGBT community. It doesn't make sense. But surprised, of course not. He showed a lot of courage.
This isn’t the first time an NBA player has gotten in trouble for directing a homophobic slur toward someone, but past instances didn't result in suspensions.
Chicago Bulls center Joakim Noah was fined $50,000 on May 23, 2011, for using an offensive slur during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Finals.
On April 13, 2011, Los Angeles Lakers star Kobe Bryant was fined $100,000 for directing an anti-gay slur toward referee Bennie Adams during a game against the San Antonio Spurs.
Rondo’s incident was the first to result in a ban, but many will feel that his statement on Twitter was not good enough. Jimmy Traina of Fox Sports, for example, felt that the apology was staged and insincere:
Sam Amick of USA Today also felt Rondo was insincere, noting the point guard didn't actually apologize:
What’s more, the notion that he "did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone" qualifies as an insult to the general public’s intelligence: The inherent nature of those words he chose for Kennedy is both offensive and disrespectful — first and foremost — to the aggrieved party. In this case, that’s a man in Kennedy who was widely known to be gay in NBA circles.
Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports said the NBA will not take any further action.