Basketball legend, Magic Johnson came under fire recently after posting a family photo on Instagram. Most of the negative comments centered on his gay son, EJ Johnson.
Magic took to Instagram on October 21 to share a cute snapshot with his wife, Cookie Johnson, daughter, Elisa Johnson, and son, EJ Johnson. The group was at an LA Lakers game, and Magic, who is the team’s president of basketball operations, thought to share the moment with his over one million Instagram followers.
HATRED IN THE COMMENTS SECTION
What followed was a barrage of hateful and sarcastic remarks, mostly about EJ. Here are just a few of those comments:
“Which one is the son???? This world has gotten out of hand, do you really think god would want that.”- @dalton_w_cummins
“Is it me or does his son look legit scary.”- @yaspecialboi_mac
“Imagine having a son and thinking he’s gonna love basket ball like you but he ends up wearing makeup and dressing like a girl.”- @t_clark527
THE ROAD TO ACCEPTANCE
Magic, 59, is no stranger to getting backlash over his support of EJ’s sexuality. In June, the former NBA shared a heartfelt birthday tribute to his son, and while some fans joined him in wishing EJ a happy birthday, most rebuked him for letting his son “become” the way he is.
Magic’s road to acknowledging EJ’s sexual orientation was not the easiest, but the proud father has since accepted his son for who he is and continues to support him.
Four months ago, EJ and his mom, Cookie, were on Jada Pinkett-Smith’s “Red Table Talk” where they spoke about Magic’s reaction when EJ came out as gay. Cookie, who already knew about their son’s attraction to men, confessed that it was “tough” talking to Magic about it.
“My husband is the kind of person like he reacts quickly. Everything that came to the top of his head, he just let it out. It hurt my feelings and I know it probably hurt [EJ’s] feelings,” she said.
EJ, 26, said things got better by the next day. His father came into his room “and was like, ‘We’re going to get through this and I just need time.’ And we both started crying a little bit.”
Since then, apparently, the three-time NBA MVP has been unapologetic about accepting his son’s sexual identity. Even though EJ also raises eyebrows by dressing in risqué female outfits, Magic remains a supportive father.
He confirmed his stand on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” last year where he said:
“You gotta support your child, because there's so many people who try to discriminate against them, so they need you to support ‘em, 'cause if you don't support ‘em, who's gonna support ‘em and love them?"
Magic, who also knows how it feels to come out publicly following the announcement of his HIV diagnosis in 1991, added: "It's all about loving them no matter who they are.”
MOM KNOWS BEST
EJ also has the support and understanding of his mom who dedicated a whole chapter of her 2016 memoir to her gay son. She advised other parents:
"I wanted the world to know, you know, accept your children when they're babies. … I wrote that chapter because I wanted other young parents to understand, don't wait so long. This is who they are. Embrace them from the beginning."
Meanwhile, EJ, who is currently an MTV host, continues to live his best life despite the continued backlash. Only last week, he was spotted flaunting toned legs and his bare chest in a little black dress with plunging neckline.
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