Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Magic Johnson Condemns Radio Hosts' Claim He's Faking

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
Your donation today keeps LAist independent, ready to meet the needs of our city, and paywall free. Thank you for your partnership, we can't do this without you.

Earlier this week conservative talk show hosts Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of Minneapolis' KTLK remarked during their broadcast that they felt Lakers' legend Magic Johnson was "faking" having AIDS in order to gain attention.

Following the show, the station released a written statement regarding what they call their hosts' "off-hand remarks" and that KTLK "recognizes the seriousness of the health issues presented by HIV/AIDS -- and the great work that Magic Johnson has done across the nation in calling attention to this disease, and the importance of HIV testing and treatment." Baker and Perry were less apologetic, and the next day told listeners that they believed their comments weren't newsworthy and expressed surprise that "with everything going on right now, that someone would focus on something so stupid; three seconds of radio out of a four-second show."

Johnson, however, is not taking Baker and Perry's three seconds' worth of remarks lightly. He has publicly condemned the radio personalities' comments, and according to "says those words damaged efforts to fight aids and that he wants the hosts to use their platform to educate their audience about the disease. " Johnson does not, in fact, have AIDS, but was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 during a routine physical exam. The basketball player and HIV/AIDS awareness activist faces frequent scrutiny from those who cannot understand why Johnson's outward appearance has not suffered noticeably in the years since his diagnosis--something not uncommon for those who have the HIV virus and are in treatment.

Support for LAist comes from

Photo by Rafael Amado Deras via Flickr