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Lakers Icon Magic Johnson Denies 'False Story' He Donated Blood to COVID-19 Patients

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVAugust 23, 2022

Magic Johnson (Derek White/Getty Images)

NBA legend Magic Johnson, who has HIV, confirmed a recent story suggesting he donated blood to COVID-19 patients is "false."

Earvin Magic Johnson @MagicJohnson

I’m aware of the false story circling the internet, and to be clear, I have never donated blood.

Sophia Tulp of the Associated Press reported Monday a picture of Johnson having blood drawn from a 2012 documentary was taken out of context and repackaged by a satire account to suggest it was a blood donation, which then went viral.

A similar hoax made its way around the internet last year.

The image came from the PBS documentary Endgame: AIDS in Black America, which includes commentary from Johnson about his retirement from the NBA following his HIV diagnosis in 1991.

Johnson ultimately returned to the court to help Team USA win a gold medal in men's basketball at the 1992 Summer Olympics as part of the Dream Team, and he later made a brief comeback in the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers in 1996.

In 2021, the Hall of Fame point guard discussed the importance of his return to basketball with CBS' Gayle King.

"It proved to be the right decision," Johnson said. "It helped people who were living with not just HIV and AIDS, but with any disease, that you can live on, you can beβ€”live a productive life."

The Michigan native, who's now 63, was one of the NBA's most decorated players during his first stint with the Lakers, highlighted by five championships, three MVP awards and 12 All-Star selections from 1979 through 1991.

He's now part owner of multiple L.A. sports franchises, including MLB's Los Angeles Dodgers, the WNBA's Los Angeles Sparks and MLS' LAFC.

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