Sensing that his I didn’t mean to offend anyone apology wasn’t going to hold up past the two hours it took for everyone to read it, absorb it, find it lacking in empathy and contrition and then mock it, Rajon Rondo apologized to Bill Kennedy, the gay man he insulted, shamed and offended by his repetitive use of a homophobic slur.
Rondo amended his Twitter statement of yesterday to include a little bit more empathy for the injured party and a grasp of the situation he has been thrust into. Yesterday, it felt as if Rondo was marginalizing his behavior by using the often regurgitated heat-of-the-moment excuse. Today, he actually apologized.
“Yesterday I said that my words toward Bill Kennedy were unacceptable and did not reflect my feelings towards the LGBT community. Some have interpreted my comments as a non-apology. I want to be clear, from the bottom of my heart that I am truly sorry for what I said to Bill. 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.”
Of course it reads like it was professionally written but anything is better than yesterdays it was no big deal, just emotion in game “apology”. In the amended version Rondo actually says the words I am truly sorry which is all anyone needs to hear.
For education purposes, since it seems as if Rondo has issues with how to apologize to someone, this is how it is done.
- You address them by name.
- You say you are sorry for (fill in the blank)
- You show remorse and explain how this was a one time incident that won’t happen again.
- You ask for forgiveness.
- You supplement social media apology with a phone call.
It’s not that hard, really. We teach it to third graders all the time.
As for the other issue that circulated in this story, the Doc Rivers angle, (Rivers was accused of using Kennedy’s homosexual status against him during a Celtics game), Rivers was asked about it post-game after the Clippers won in Detroit last night. Here was his response:
“That was not true. And sometimes I hope I have more credibility than where that came from.” Rivers was referring to Tim Donaghy, the disgraced referee who admitted to betting on games. In a 2010 interview, Donaghy implicated Rivers when he said Rivers, “questioned (Bill Kennedy’s) sexual orientation” during a game, something Donaghy says Kennedy never forgot and holds against Rivers to this day.
Four years ago, Kobe Bryant hurled his own offensive slur at a referre while sitting on the bench and as Deadspin correctly points out, his apology and Rondo’s apology were pretty similar, the heat of the moment excuse being the thrust of it. But Bryant was not pressured for a redo. Why?
In four years, the world has changed. The NFL has seen its first gay player drafted (Michael Sam). The NBA had their first gay player participate in a NBA game (Jason Collins). NBA referee Violet Palmer recently revealed she was gay. In other words these are your friends and neighbors and not just randomless, faceless people you don’t know. In addition, gay marriage and other LGBT equality rights campaigns have won long fought legal battles.
To make a long story short: Don’t Hate.
photo via llananba