Sacramento Kings guard Rajon Rondo has apologised for using a homophobic slur to referee Bill Kennedy during an NBA game earlier this month.
Kennedy revealed he was gay on Monday in the wake of the controversy following the incident.
Kennedy, in his 18th season as an NBA referee, was confronted by Rondo after calling two technical fouls and ejecting him from the Kings' game against the Boston Celtics in Mexico City on December 3.
Rondo, who also had to be restrained by his team-mates, was handed a one-game ban by the NBA last week.
"My words toward Bill Kennedy were unacceptable and did not reflect my feelings toward the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) community," Rondo said.
"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."
On Monday, Kennedy told Yahoo Sports: "I am proud to be an NBA referee and I am proud to be a gay man."