In a new sit-down interview with TMZ, NBA legend Magic Johnson opened up about his son, EJ’s, homosexuality after the 20-year-old was seen walking hand-in-hand with his rumored boyfriend last month.
Johnson says that he and his wife, Cookie, figured out the news nearly eight years ago, and while the initial conversation was hard to have because of his son’s young age, they had absolutely nothing but support for the then teen:
“We’ve known for a long time that my son EJ was gay. It’s interesting when you’re his parents…We finally had to sit down and talk about it. I told him, ‘Look, I’m gonna love you regardless, just let me know. Are you, or aren’t you?’ And finally he said, ‘Yes, I am.’ …It was a hard conversation only because he was so young. What do you say to tell him at that age, what do you say to him?…I told him, ‘We are here to support you, man. We are going to love you no matter who you are or what you do. We just want you to love yourself and make sure that you have all the information.’ “
Johnson said that despite only wanting to comfort his son, EJ was extremely nervous about how his father would react, and if anything would change between them:
“He really wanted to make sure I was OK. He wasn’t worried about his mom, he was worried about me. I think he was worried about what would I think. Am I going to change toward him or something like that…I love E.J. so much. That’s my main man. I told him, ‘Nothing has changed.’ He’s just happy that it is out. I’m behind him a million percent.”
With his history of living with HIV, the 53-year-old Johnson closed the interview poignantly saying how much any discrimination of a gay male or female bothers him, and that people need to start accepting so these young kids know they have support wherever they go:
“It bothers me that they’re discriminating against anybody who’s gay. I’ve been in the gay movement for a long time because of HIV and AIDS. I see young men who are black who couldn’t come out, who couldn’t tell their parents, their neighbors. So now, it’s my son…This is the year 2013 – we should stop discriminating against people. And that’s what I’m gonna do with my son. But I’ll also support others. This is gonna be good for a lot of black young people…It’s unfortunate that we have to go through some of this negative stuff. But it’s not gonna change me, it’s not gonna change my son and the way I love him. If people can’t understand it, that’s on them.”
Watch the full interview below, and have massive respect for a man who has no fear, and the single goal of supporting and protecting his family.