Magic Johnson and his wife, Cookie, have known “for a long, long time” that their 20-year-old son E.J. is gay.
Now, after a TMZ video this week showed E.J. holding hands on a Los Angeles street with his boyfriend, it is public knowledge, too.
“It’s interesting when you’re his parents. We finally had to sit down and talk about it,” Magic Johnson told TMZ of the long-ago decision to have The Talk with E.J. “I told him, ‘Look, I’m going to love you regardless. Just let me know: Are you or aren’t you?’ Finally, he said, ‘Yes, I am.'”
E.J., Magic estimated, must have been “12-13-14” years old at the time. “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?” Magic Johnson said. “…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.’”
Magic Johnson also talked about how he, as a former athlete and now part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, would feel if an active player announced that he was gay. That day, whether in the NFL or another sport, may be rapidly approaching.
“If that ever happened, I’m going to support him 150 percent,” Johnson said. “[I’d protect him] as much as I can. That’s who I am. I’m a protector.”
Magic Johnson knows, as all parents do, that his son will face difficulties, but said, “I love E.J. so much. That’s my main man. Nothing has changed.”
And E.J.? He tweeted:
in the midst of all this media attention i would like to say that i am truly blessed to have parents that love and support me @magicjohnson
—EJ Johnson (@prince_ej) April 3, 2013