Video Vault: Magic Johnson's stunning HIV news
1987: Roy Hinson #23 of the Philadelphia 76ers boxes out Earvin 'Magic' Johnson #32 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the 1987-1988 NBA season game at the Great Western Forum in Los Angeles, California.
November 7th, 2011
11:58 AM ET

Video Vault: Magic Johnson's stunning HIV news

It's a day that shocked the sports world and changed the course of NBA history.  Nov. 7, 1991, 20 years ago today, NBA superstar Earvin "Magic" Johnson told the world that he contracted the HIV virus and was retiring from basketball.  At the time, Magic's announcement seemed like a death sentence, especially because people had so many misconceptions about HIV and AIDS.  In the years following his diagnosis, Johnson has become the face of HIV and an advocate for safe sex.   Today we look back at the day that changed Magic Johnson's career and the way the world viewed HIV.

Announcement that shocked the world – The day Magic Johnson heard he contracted HIV, he could have kept his mouth shut. He could have hid from the cameras and not said a word to the media. Instead, he decided to do something that at the time many would have been to afraid to do.  Here's a clip from his news conference announcing his diagnosis.

L.A. Lakers lose heart and soul – The day Johnson announced he had contracted HIV, the media had a lot of questions.  Many journalists wondered how the disease would immediately impact his life and what he would ultimately do after retiring from the Los Angeles Lakers.  CNN's Michael Cowman filed a report the day of Magic's big announcement and helps answer those questions.

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Filed under: AIDS • Basketball • Health • NBA • Sports
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    I've been playing nice. I suggest you do the same.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Magic

    My Johnson is so magical. Tee Hee.. Let's be honest.. The NBA is one big std swapping sword fight fest.. Disease was inevitable.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    @Chopped liver:
    That detente didn't last long, did it?
    My hubby wouldn't be unfaithful to me, so it's a moot point.
    Cut the crap.
    I'm not buying it.
    Sorry if I didn't bring up every gd celebrity that has contracted HIV. And yes, Arthur Ashe was a courageous man, but this article happens to be on MAGIC JOHNSON!
    I didn't say I admired how he got it, I just said I admired his courage for owning what he did.
    Now, shut up.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bam

    @Steeve-o: Don't you staple your sack to your thigh? You shouldn't be handing out advice on sanity. BAM BAM!

    November 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy©

    Can't argue my way out of a paper bag.

    November 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Philip

      I'm sorry, honey. I love you.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  6. King Arthur

    @Excalibur: Wanna sword fight buddy?

    November 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Chopped Liver

    @banasy: Let's be honest here. You've been just as guilty of pointing out other's faults. Your fake attempts at looking benevolent or forgiving don't make up for all the times you've judged or pointed the ta-r-d- finger at others. Admitting you have a problem is the first step to solving it. I haven't been on this site in 6 months, yet here you are.. LOL

    November 7, 2011 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConTroll

      Now you know that isn't true you little pantywaste....not true at all. If you swallow, chances are much better you don't get HIV.

      November 7, 2011 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
  8. LMAO

    Calling Magic Johnson courageous is just silly. he either admitted having HIV, or he could have been sued by any NBA players who got it from him, or any of the hundreds of women he slept with after knowing having HIV. Right now there are lawsuits in France where Bayer AG is being sued for knowingly distributin meds laced with HIV. Several Bayer AG officials were arrested, and are currently out on bail.

    When the FDA and CDC got wind of NBC's investigation uncovering this, the FDA ordered Bayer AG to destroy the 10's of millions of dollars woth of HIV tainted drugz. President Obama stepped in, and using his executive priviledge ordered the FDA and CDC to stand-down. Bayer AG then exported these very same drugz to other countries like France, thinking they could get away with it.

    Look for more cases like these to happen as those who knowingly spread HIV through their promiscuous activities are arrested, tried, convicted, and sent to prison for life. You may recall the pastor whom was holding an anti-gay sign at a recent gay-rights parade. A gay man who knew he had HIV spit in the pastors face, and was arrested on charges of attempted manslaughter. You wantonly promiscuous who spread AIDS are going to prison, and sooner rather than later.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • ConTroll

      iswouldn't hpn if you took matters into your own hands. Wait, that's forbidden too? LMAO! LMAO!

      November 7, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lance

      "he could have been sued by any NBA players who got it from him"???? You think people get HIV from playing basketball with other people? What an incredibly ignorant statement. The spitting incident is absurd as well-no one has ever got HIV from saliva. I don't know about the whole Bayer incident but given the remarkable level of ignorance you've demonstrated about this disease already I have a hard time believing anything you say.

      November 7, 2011 at 6:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. banasy©

    Chopped Liver:
    Don't really care if you were here two years, two months, or two minutes ago.
    Problem is, you sound like someone else who always has to take issue with my posts.
    If you want to argue, go ahead.
    I stand by my post.
    Don't like it?
    Too bad.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wood-yee

    Un-be-lee-vable. I can't believe he lived this long. HIV is terrrrible. This is terrrrible. Where's my Soon Yi?

    November 7, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Okay, I say this again for those who didn't get my point the first time:

    MJ was courageous in owning up to his HIV.
    He owned up to how he got it.
    I didn't say I thought he was brave in *how* he got it; only that it took courage to admit that he did, and he took flack for it, just as you are giving me flack now.
    Let's be honest here also, Chopped Liver.
    You come here to look for an argument, but you'll not get one from me, even if you don't think I can't argue my way out of a paper bag.
    That's immaterial to me.
    I do not condone in any way, shape, or form *how* he got it.
    I just think it's admirable that he blames no one for his HIV but himself, and that is a rare thing these days.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    "Calling Magic Johnson courageous is just silly. he either admitted having HIV, or he could have been sued by any NBA players who got it from him, or any of the hundreds of women he slept with after knowing having HIV."
    His reasons notwithstanding, he admitted his mistake, and that's more courageous than most people I know.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  13. banasy©

    He owned up to his trecherous behavior.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. banasy©

    Calling me out on every post isn't going to get you too far either, LMAO.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. @Philip

    Left you a message on our first blog.
    Please read it. Thank you.

    November 7, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
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