Great strides for equal rights have been made in 2015.
However, there are still plenty instances of ignorance.
One such instance occurred during a NBA game between the Sacramento Kings and Boston Celtics on December 3 in Mexico City.
During a heated disagreement, Celtics player Rajon Rondo used the word f***** towards 18-year veteran referee Bill Kennedy.
According to Yahoo! Sports, fellow referee Ben Taylor confirmed the use of the word after Rondo was ejected from the game.
However, the story goes further than Rondo using a gay slur.
Whether or not Rondo knew, Kennedy is in fact gay and decided to announce in a public statement that as a gay man he will continue to be proud of his choices and career.
As per BET, Kennedy made sure other men and women in his position do not feel ashamed for their choices.
He said, "I am proud to be an NBA referee, and I am proud to be a gay man. I am following in the footsteps of others who have self-identified in the hopes that will send a message to young men and women in sports that you must allow no one to make you feel ashamed of who you are."
Lee Seham, the National Basketball Referee's Association general counsel, supported Kennedy by saying, "We stand against bigotry in all its forms."
The NBA and Silver also echoed these sentiments, by saying, "I wholeheartedly support Bill's decision to live his life proudly and openly," as per Yahoo! Sports. He continued, "Throughout his 18-year career with the league, Bill has excelled as a referee because of his passion, dedication and courage. Those qualities will continue to serve him well both as a game official and as a positive influence for others. While our league has made great progress, our work continues to ensure that everyone is treated with respect and dignity."