Magic Johnson has nothing but praise for his son Earvin Johnson III (a.k.a. EJ). The 20-year-old was filmed with his boyfriend in West Hollywood earlier this week. The former L.A. Laker player gave an interview to TMZ and shared that he asked EJ to open up when he was almost 13.
Johnson revealed, “We’ve known for a long time that my son EJ was gay. 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.'”
He explained, “He was so young . . . I told him, ‘We are here to support you. We are gonna love no matter who you are, what you do. We just want you to love yourself and also make sure that you have all the information. I wanted to provide him with advice and guidance.”
Johnson added that EJ was nervous about his dad’s reaction.
“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.'”
The sports star – who has been a longtime supporter of the LGBT community – shared that his son coming out his week “was a moment for us as a family and an even greater moment for him.”
He added, “I think now he’s just the bubbly kid we knew again. He’s just happy that it is out. I’m behind him a million percent. This is really wonderful for him.”
According to US Weekly – Johnson addressed some of the negative, homophobic backlash from African-Americans in sports and elsewhere.
He said, “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.”
Johnson continued, “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.”