Magic Johnson sat down with Harvey Levin and had a very honest and open discussion about his gay son, Earvin Johnson III.
Get ready to fall in love with Magic all over again.
Johnson never once tiptoed around the subject; He loves and supports his son, and that is exactly the sentiment given in a three-part interview that you can see on TMZ.
On "The Talk"
First, Johnson speaks candidly about the talk he had with EJ when he was about 12 or 13 years of age.
We finally had to sit down and talk about it, you know. And I told him, "Look, I'm going to love you regardless. Let me know, are you or aren't you?" And finally he just said, "Yes, I am."
Being his parents, they knew a young kid wasn't going to initiate an important discussion, so they made sure to make things perfectly clear to a boy who must have had a great deal of questions.
It was a hard conversation only because he was so young. And what do you tell him at that age and what do you say to him? And so, but other than that, you know, I told him, "We are here to support you, man. We are here to love you no matter who you are or what you do."
Coming from a place of love and honesty, you can never go wrong. There are a lot of reasons EJ is a lucky man, just one is the support of two amazing parents.
On Anti-Gay Haters
Levin then asks Johnson about criticism and vitriol coming from the African-American community, specifically blogs that were highly critical of homosexuality.
Magic explains a great deal of it comes from a very religious community that has typically looked "down on gays." It's a sentiment Johnson warned his son of prior to coming out and one that never deterred him from supporting his son fully.
The most telling moment came when Levin asked Johnson about his role as a black business man who has afforded a great amount of opportunity to the community.
The question was whether it bothered him that those same people would discriminate against his son. Magic sums up his feelings exactly, "It bothers me that they're discriminating against anybody who is gay."
On Athletes Coming Out
Some may have wondered about the relationship between the NBA legend and his son, especially after a recent TMZ video surfaced of EJ discussing things like the Dodgers while out with his boyfriend.
There is hardly a hotter topic in the public forum than gay marriage and, specifically for the sports world, the subject of homosexual athletes playing in an open environment. Even Phil Jackson was asked about this same subject recently, only to give some cryptic answers.
Levin finishes off this interview asking what Johnson might do if someone on the Dodgers—Johnson is part owner of the Los Angeles franchise—came out as homosexual. "If that happened, I'm gonna support him, 150%."
The Lakers legend turned baseball owner then discusses how things might change. He offers that it starts with the top down, an owner accepting a gay player and then informing the public from there.
It's funny that over 60 years since Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier—and on the heels of the movie 42 opening, one that celebrates that feat—we are still debating whether a gay player will ever come out while being an active member of their respective team.
When you look back decades and then centuries, things that were considered wrong and abhorrent slowly became accepted by society. Interracial marriage, woman's suffrage and far more become accepted as the norm.
The unfortunate aspect is that it takes our human race so long to accept such things as a given. The more hopeful aspect, however, is that things do change for the better.
One day, gay players who once felt they needed to hide who they were will come out and play as if they are a normal part of the team.
Shame on all of us, because this is just how things should be.
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