Rajon Rondo Apologizes for Past Derogatory Comments During ESPN Interview

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJune 13, 2016

Mar 23, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo (9) looks on during the first half against the Minnesota Timberwolves at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Rajon Rondo made an appearance on ESPN's The Jump on Monday and expressed remorse for directing gay slurs toward an official in December.

When host Rachel Nichols gave him a chance to apologize for his past remarks, Rondo appeared contrite and offered his condolences to the Orlando community after a nightclub shooting left 49 people dead and 53 wounded Sunday morning, according to the New York Times' Lizette Alvarez, Richard Perez-Pena and Christine Hauser:

I definitely want to apologize again for my actions early on in the year. That’s not who I am, if you know me. I want to send my thoughts and prayers out to the LGBTQ community. I think the only thing that’s going to create a stop to all this madness is love. The only thing that can conquer hate is love. I think that’s what we need to do, is love one another, and my prayers and thoughts are out to the community in Orlando.

The NBA suspended Rondo for one game after he reportedly directed gay slurs toward referee Bill Kennedy during a Dec. 3 loss to the Boston Celtics in Mexico City. Eleven days later, Kennedy revealed to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski that he is gay.

On Dec. 14, Rondo tweeted a two-part apology: "My actions during the game were out of frustration and emotion, period! They absolutely do not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT community. I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone."

The following day, Rondo issued another apology through the Sacramento Kings. 

"I want to be clear, from the bottom of my heart, that I am truly sorry for what I said to Bill," he said, per ESPN.com. "There is no place on or off the court for language that disrespects anyone's sexual orientation. That is not who I am or what I believe, and I will strive every day to be a better person."

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