NBA referee calls Colorado shooting appalling

NBA referee Bill Kennedy, who came out as gay in 2015, spoke Tuesday in an emotional video in response to the shooting this weekend that killed five people and injured 17 others at a gay nightclub in Colorado. Springs, Colo.

The NBA posted the 41-second video on social media.

“These kinds of heinous crimes, these heinous hate crimes have to stop in the country,” Kennedy warned. “We as people have to find a way to achieve that. May God be with the LGBTI community in Colorado Springs and elsewhere.”

A shooting occurred at Club Q on Saturday. The suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, 22, faces murder and hate crime charges. He is scheduled to appear in court via video on Wednesday from prison.

It is not the first reaction of the NBA after the incident. Denver Nuggets coach Michael Malone spoke this week, calling it “another senseless mass shooting.” The Nuggets held a minute’s silence before Tuesday’s home game against Detroit.

The victims are: Raymond Green Vance, 22; Ashley Paugh, 35; Daniel Aston, 28; Kelly Loving, 40; and Derrick Rump, 38.

“I want to take this opportunity to address the victims and their families and express my heartfelt condolences to those who were at Club Q this weekend,” Kennedy said.

In 25 seasons, Kennedy has officiated nearly 2,500 regular season and playoff games.

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