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Doc Rivers reportedly once used anti-gay slur against referee Bill Kennedy

Rajon Rondo reportedly used an anti-gay slur against referee Bill Kennedy, who came out publicly today as gay.

That’s apparently not the only time Kennedy faced such harassment.

Disgraced referee Tim Donaghy – whose testable claims were widely disproven – outted Kennedy in 2010 and claimed Kennedy held a grudge with Doc Rivers, because Rivers questioned Kennedy’s sexual orientation. Donaghy was obviously correct about Kennedy’s sexual orientation. What about the grudge with Rivers, who now coaches the Clippers and previously coached the Celtics?

Prominent NBA gambler Haralabos Voulgaris:

The Celtics and Bulls played in the 2009 first round, but that wasn’t the start of the long-lasting feud between Rivers and Kennedy.

Rivers and Kennedy were both fined for an incident late that regular season. Rivers was ejected and claimed Kennedy goaded him into it by starting him down.

Rivers also drew a fine in last year’s playoffs for criticizing officials following a game worked by Kennedy’s crew.

The NBA needs to enact a procedure for all its employees – including referees – to report workplace harassment, if it hasn’t already. The league disciplined Rondo, but if Rivers made similar comments, Kennedy should have had a place to report him. Kennedy shouldn’t have to just take that abuse.

That’s how it spreads.

To be clear, Rondo – who played for Rivers’ Celtics in 2009 – bears full responsibility for his own actions. That he heard his old coach say something similar is not a mitigating factor. Now is not the time to suddenly believe Rondo listens to his coach.