Magic Johnson Calls Out African-Americans for Being Uneducated and Not Social Distancing

Brad Sullivan
3 Min Read

The coronavirus pandemic is a crisis that should have the attention of the entire world, but Los Angeles Lakers legend Magic Johnson has expressed his frustration at African-Americans who he feels are not taking the issue seriously.

Johnson appeared on CNN Thursday night and spoke passionately about recent data that shows how African-Americans have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic.

He insisted that all individuals need to follow the rules and regulations that have been put in place since the problem surged in the United States last month.

“African-Americans are leading in terms of dying from the coronavirus and most of them in the hospital are African-American,” Johnson said. “We have to do a better job as African-Americans to follow social distancing, stay at home and make sure we educate our loved ones and our family members and do what we’re supposed to do to keep safe and healthy. Then when you add that up, we don’t have access to health care, quality health care. So many of us are uninsured. That also creates a problem, too. Just like it did with HIV and AIDS.”

Johnson knows how important the idea of education can be when it comes to any illness or disease, having been diagnosed with HIV back in November 1991.

At the time of that diagnosis, the general consensus was that Johnson had been given a death sentence.

However, by having access to life-saving HIV medication and taking the necessary steps to avoid compromising his well-being, Johnson appears to be the picture of health nearly three decades later.

After Johnson was diagnosed, he announced his retirement before later returning to the court. He also served as head coach of the Lakers during the 1990s and, more recently, was the team’s president of basketball operations until resigning last year.

While Johnson and all basketball fans are hoping to see play resume in the NBA sometime soon, it’s clear that he’s now focused on making sure that many of those fans remain healthy enough to cheer that return.

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Brad is a freelance writer for, who can clearly recall watching Lakers games in 1972 as they captured the first of their 11 Los Angeles-based titles. The franchise's evolution into a beloved and iconic franchise among its fan base since that memorable year allows for a wider perspective to be a part of his writing about the team's current fortunes.