- (Photo: Reuters/Lucy Nicholson)
Former National Basketball Association star Magic Johnson recently told Anderson Cooper that he is Christian but that he also supports his openly gay son.
In an interview on "Anderson Cooper 360" that aired Monday, Johnson talked about many issues including how being a Christian and having a gay son is "reality."
"I go to church, I'm a Christian, but the reality is, my son is gay. That is the reality. And I tell pastors that, I tell other pastors that," said Johnson.
"I don't care if you don't agree and you don't want to deal with me or don't like me, that is on you. But I said tell me when it hits your own family, you know? Then you are going to have to make a decision."
When Cooper asked Johnson about whether having his son come out to him changed his views on homosexuality, the former professional basketball player said it did not.
"No, it didn't change, because I've been working side-by-side with gays for a long time. I think what I wanted the gay community to do for me is to help my son," said Johnson.
"Give him the right information. Help him to grow and be a good young man, things that I can't talk about that I don't know about, they can help him. So that is what I want."
Johnson had previously expressed support for his son, Earvin Johnson III, who came out as gay earlier this year, in earlier remarks to MSNBC's the Grio in September.
"I don't care about the backlash, if somebody doesn't agree, that's just tough on them. I'm gonna love my son until the end," said Johnson.
"He has a right to decide who he wants to be, who he wants to date, and who he wants to marry, and he has decided that that's a man, and that's okay by us."
In October, it was announced that Earvin was going to have a role on a reality television fashion program, reported Lilly Workneh of the Grio.
"The show is titled Rich Kids of Beverly Hills, and E.J. is one of five wealthy young adults who will be documented on camera as they parade around the city flaunting their designer tags," wrote Workneh.
In his interview with Cooper, Johnson also talked about the need for people to get tested regarding HIV-AIDS.
"I'm out here just urging people just to get tested," said Johnson, whose public admonition years back of being HIV positive made headlines.
"And know where you stand before you and your partner, it is so important. If you can do that and get you on a regimen, go to your health care provider, to your doctor, give you a great regimen, I mean, you can live a healthy life with you and your partner for a long time."