Blogtable: Rondo’s suspension long enough?

Each week, we’ll ask our stable of scribes across the globe to weigh in on the most important NBA topics of the day — and then give you a chance to step on the scale, too, in the comments below.

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Rondo suspension harsh enough?

VIDEOThe Starters discuss Rajon Rondo’s suspension

> Sacramento’s Rajon Rondo was suspended one game for directing anti-gay slurs toward referee Bill Kennedy. Was the suspension enough?

Steve Aschburner, The suspension was enough. A player went ballistic and got nasty at a referee. Nothing new to see here. I’m not descending into a debate over the relative ugliness of vile remarks – why a particular six-letter slur is worse than common seven-letter, 10-letter and 12-letter slurs – and I’m not a believer in “protected classes” when it comes to sports or to speech. If you say something boorish, cloddish and cruel, you take the penalty hit same as anyone else and then you live with that on your reputation.

Fran Blinebury, NBA.comProbably. But Rondo then deserved another game or two for his insincere Tweets, where he never mentioned the words “sorry” or “apology.”

Scott Howard-Cooper, Michael Grange of Rogers Sportsnet had the best perspective: There is no way a white player would have gotten one game for multiple racial slurs against Kennedy, an African-American, so one game shouldn’t be enough for this. I don’t know if two games addresses it or three games, but something more than one. Then he distributed an apology so weak that he, or someone on his behalf, had to try again a day later. GM Vlade Divac and coach George Karl had to face the questions because Rondo wouldn’t.

Shaun Powell, Enough? Not really. Had Rondo said that to another player, it could be explained as one of those terms that immature men use to insult another. But Rondo had to know about Kennedy, who was not exactly a secret in the NBA. Rondo should’ve gotten at least three games. And why haven’t his fellow NBA players denounced him? Or do they just save their scorn for guys like Donald Sterling?

John Schuhmann, No. The NBA has been a leader in regard promoting equality among all people and denouncing any kind of discrimination. But a one-game suspension doesn’t send enough of a message, which was made clear by Rondo’s first attempt at an apology. A three-game suspension would have been more appropriate and a stronger message of what the league stands for.

Sekou Smith, Nope. The suspension needed to be accompanied with some sensitivity training for Rondo and anyone else who believes it’s cool, okay or acceptable to disrespect someone else like that in the workplace. It sounds trivial to some, but sometimes you need to learn a bit more about the impact and power of certain words before you toss them around without any regard for what they can do to people. Sticks and stones … and words, too.

Ian Thomsen, NBA.comIf anyone said anything of this nature in racial terms to Rondo, then we would all be supporting Rondo to no end. Society has been late to recognize anti-gay bigotry, which is why the response should be based less on precedent and much more so on the values that ought to be embraced and encouraged going forward. As much as I wish the suspension had been more severe, the most meaningful response was always going to come from the public. Rondo is being held to account in ways that transcend the powers of any league.

Lang Whitaker,’s All Ball blogThe way to really get a player’s attention isn’t through his wallet, it’s by keeping him away from the game. And from that standpoint, I think suspending Rondo for a game is a great way to get his attention. Should the suspension have been longer? To me, one game feels like a tangible punishment, but perhaps one not quite strong enough. If Adam Silver really wanted to make a statement, a two- or three-game suspension (and accompanying loss of salary) would have resonated loudly.


  1. lbj says:

    It was in the heat of the game. Isn’t that why they have technical fouls and ejections?

  2. Jdub455 says:

    Suspension was in order…. who the does rondo think of himself anyway?!? Here he is given another chance to redeem his career in a joke of a team, and suddenly this happens… i cud jst imagine the headache karl has in his top players… lolz… Cmon vlade. What the hell, rondo with cousins?!? Really!?! Trade em both to the lakers… Kobe with those two in his final year, who knows what can happen. But for the kings, rebuild… 😁

  3. supajiba says:

    One is enough, cause I’m kings fan

  4. Santa's Elf says:

    Rondo was wrong and he was punished. The nba league did the right thing and we need to move forward! Writers please stop this witch hunt and put your creative minds toward helping out the homeless or military veterans !

  5. fromAfarCountry says:

    Too much discussion over minor thing.
    If you treat all minorities with too much care then they start ruling all others.
    There is a big trend to be politically right, to say only those things which are “politically correct” and don’t harm anyone. But all minorities are out of regular behaviour so why minorities should affect and get so much influence over regular stand?
    The world goes into wrong direction.
    And the punishment for Rondo was too much in my view. There is nothing wrong in saying the truth. Only the way it was expressed was not appropriate. So the punishment should go for the style not the content.

  6. GilbertArenasIsPettyAndItsFunny says:

    We still don’t know if Rondo knew whether or not Billy was gay or not. You guys are speculating that he knew. If he did then I think the punishment should’ve been 3 games tops. But at the same time Billy should be thanking Rondo for the platform he’s given him…

  7. Kobe Jelly bean Bryant says:

    Wait, how many games did my hiro Kobe Bryant gets when he said that homophobic slur?

    Zero Suspension, then why on Rondo?

    If you say that I am a freaking straight guy I am not offended.

    So I guess we need to stop giving too much power to you-know-who coummunity.

    We all equals and we get that! But don’t stuff me with all your POV. Respect straight people too, It’s my privilege.

  8. Tom says:

    Rondo prob deserved as a little more. But, if they going off of whatever scale they used to give J.R. Smith 2 games last playoffs for knocking Crowder out cold, I would think one game would be too much.

  9. krespino says:

    Would you want Rondo’s career ended for that? Would that make you happy? As if none of you have ever lost your control and insulted somebody?
    One game is enough.
    It’s Rondo who we need, to see playing on the court, not a bunch of insignificant NBA writers who would want to put pressure on the NBA for a bigger punishment for a valuable player. Your jobs as writer /commenters can easily be done by anybody else starting from tomorrow but Rondo is irreplaceable.
    Hope you show the integrity to post this comment.

  10. Jacob says:

    He should get suspended without pay for the entriler year and suspend to.

  11. DJ says:

    The three guys on The Starters are the people Rondo was talking about. This is friggin rediculous MANUP.

  12. NBA Fan says:

    Please drop this topic – it’s a none issue. Rondo made a comment in the heat of a contest. He received his punishment. I hope he was suspended for the WAY he came after the ref, who’s the designated authority in the game and not solely because of what he said. There are many, many people who are disrespected/mistreated in all walks of life. Unfortunately, they can’t be prevented in all situations. Surely we’re not going to tar and feather people for making mistakes.

    • Honestly says:

      Exactly. Guess how many games they suspended Kevin Garnett for all the AWFUL stuff he says to his opponents? I’m not trying to single out KG because plenty of players are disrespectful trash talkers (as a strategy or just a terrible person it can go either way).

      Rondo got mad and vented. Poor choice of words. Get over it unless you’re some self-righteous attention problem.

      I totally understand the NBA covering their PR thing, but these people on social media are out of their minds.

  13. Tom says:

    Rondo made a mistake.

    We all make mistakes.

    I honestly have had prejudice moments in my life that have just come out of the spurt of the moment that I truly regret.

    Everyone is making a big deal out of a little mistake.

  14. bodjee says:

    What Rondo did was a favour in disguised. Mr. Kennedy is now a free man.

  15. stoptrippn says:

    Should of been suspended for 20 games. His days are numbered now. All arenas will boo him

    • devil says:

      saying gay to a gay and get suspended is harsh.. the next thing silver would do to players is make them dress skirts.. nba is getting lamer.

    • NORINGSNYC says:

      Kobe did the same thing and it didn’t get all of this fan fair. one game is enough. people are going at this like he parading hate along with it. he will be a legend after this. Celtic fans will retire his number he will be a HOF. RONDO IS ONE OF THE GREATEST POINT GUARDS TO GRACE THE GAME. 6 letter word wont tear down his legacy.