NBA star explains why he used homophobic slurs

A NBA star who has been criticised for using anti-gay slurs during a match last week has explained why he did.

Three officials heard the outburst after Rondo was ejected by the referee for technical fouls during a game in Mexico City on 3 December.

Speaking to referee Bill Kennedy, who incidentally came out as gay yesterday, Rondo said: “You’re a motherf**king faggot… You’re a f**king faggot, Billy.”

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 15:  Head coach Sam Vincent of the New Jersey Nets questions official Bill Kennedy during the second half of their preseason game against the Charlotte Bobcats at Charlotte Bobcats Arena October 15, 2007 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Charlotte defeated New Jersey 96-86.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Sam Vincent;Bill Kennedy

According to reports from officials at the game, Rondo had “aggressively pursued” Kennedy, and later “had to be restrained by teammates”.

Rondo has now tweeted to say why he made the comments, saying it was “out of frustration and emotion”.

Stopping short of apologising, he wrote: “I did not mean to offend or disrespect anyone.”

The team’s owner Vivek Ranadive has apologised to Kennedy, and released a statement on Monday.

“Rajon’s comment is not reflective of the culture of the Sacramento Kings organization or the world we want to live in,” Ranadive said in the statement. “He’s apologized, and has been suspended by the NBA. On behalf of the team, I apologize to Bill Kennedy for any harm this may have caused.”

The general manager of Kings also apologised, it is understood, in a phone call to Kennedy.

It is unclear whether Rondo has reached out to Kennedy directly.