Basketball legend Magic Johnson has opened up about his son coming out as gay.
Retired NBA star Earvin ‘Magic’ Johnson Jr, 57, appeared on The Ellen Show today.
The sporting legend spoke candidly with host Ellen DeGeneres about his 24-year-old son, EJ Johnson, who is openly gay and currently stars on the reality show Rich Kids of Beverly Hills.
Asked about his experience as a parent of an LGBT child, Johnson explained: “I think it’s all about you not trying to decide what your daughter or son should be or what you want them to become.
“It’s all about loving them no matter who they are or what they decide to do.
“When my son came out, I was so happy for him and happy for us as parents. We love him. EJ is amazing. So you got to support your child, because there are so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support them.
“Because if you don’t support them, who is going to support them? And love them? It’s really important.’
Magic Johnson quit professional basketball in 1991, after he announced he was HIV positive.
His announcement helped dispel the myth that HIV is a ‘gay disease’.
Since retiring, he has become an advocate for HIV and AIDS prevention charities, and an advocate of safe sex.
The basketball star’s wife Cookie Johnson previously opened up about her own struggle to reconcile EJ’s sexuality.
Speaking to Oprah, she said: “That was a very hard thing for me. That was a very, very hard thing for me.
“I tried everything, but finally I just said to myself, this child is innocent. He was like this when he was a baby, it can’t be wrong. It can’t be wrong.”
She adds: “So I had to pray about it and this was one of those moments where I had to go directly to God and I prayed and the answer I got back was love.
“And he said, you know, ‘I give you all great gifts and the greatest of that gift is love.’ And so, that’s when I knew I could love my son and support him on who he was and I was okay with it. I made peace with God with it. So I’m good.”
EJ explained previously: “I always wanted to come into the spotlight.
“I always had dreams and plans of doing my own thing and creating my own image, so it came a little sooner than I thought it would but this is still something I knew I would be going through and would have to experience.”
“My parents have always been super supportive. My sister and I have always been really close and she’s been really supportive as with my brother. When it was time to come out, I was, obviously, scared as most people are.
“After I got all the love and support from my family then I knew I could go out and conquer the world, I guess.
“[I want to be] the voice for young gay people who need someone to be on TV or wherever else to talk to them and talk about all kinds of issues that all of us face and not just homosexual issues but all kinds of issues… I definitely want to set a really good example.
A supporter of Donald Trump claimed last year that Hillary Clinton “has AIDS” because her husband “messed with Magic Johnson”.