Earlier this week, Magic Johnson’s son EJ (Earvin Johnson III) came out as a gay, holding the hand of his boyfriend in West Hollywood, Calif.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend expressed his full support for the 20-year old (a sentiment later echoed by Kobe Bryant) and now Magic has sat down for a lengthy interview with TMZ.
“We’ve known for a long time that my son EJ was gay,” he said.
“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.'”
Magic said said he wanted to provide his son “with advice and guidance,” while EJ was concerned over how his parents would react.
“He really wanted to make sure I was okay. He wasn’t worried about his mom, he was worried about me… I love EJ so much. That’s my main man. I told him, ‘Nothing has changed.'”
Unfortunately, EJ and the Johnsons have suffered from considerable homophobic backlash within the African-American community.
“It bothers me that they’re discriminating against anybody who’s gay,” Magic said. “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.”
Overall, the Dodgers owner and wildly successful businessman has a simple, admirable take:
“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.”