We’re going to miss these people dearly, but we can take comfort in the fact that their legacies will always be remembered.
This week marked three decades since Magic Johnson retired from the NBA after his HIV diagnosis. The former Los Angeles Lakers point guard took to Twitter to express his gratitude to God for maintaining his health over the years.
“God has really blessed me!” the former professional basketball player posted on his Twitter account. “Today marks 30 years living with HIV, so the message resonated with me in such a tremendous way. I thank the Lord for keeping me, giving me strength, and guiding me for 62 years but especially the last 30.”
In addition, Johnson also tweeted, “Through it all, I learned to trust in Jesus, and I learned to trust in God!”. The 62-year-old explained that his life-changing journey strengthened his relationship with God.
In 1991, many people were completely shocked when news headlines read that the well-known Magic Johnson was diagnosed with HIV and retiring from his successful professional basketball career. By the time of his departure. Johnson had three NBA MVP awards, five national championships and became one of the highest-ranked athletes in the NBA.
Although the societal stigma and prognosis of HIV were grim during that time, Johnson was determined to beat the odds and live as long as he could. During his retirement press conference, he announced his intention to become an HIV spokesperson. The famous athlete emphasized his goal to warn teens and young adults that “Safe sex is the way to go. We sometimes think only gay people can get it, that it’s not going to happen to me. And here I am saying that it can happen to anybody, even me, Magic Johnson.”
“This is not like my life is over because it’s not,” Johnson declared to the press during his departure announcement, “I’m going to live on. Everything is still the same. I can work out. I’ll just have to take medication and go on from there.”
Recently, Johnson made comments derived from the sermon “Living Through the Affliction,” which originated from Bishop Charles Blake, his pastor from West Angeles Church of God in Christ in LA.
Following his resignation from the president of operations for the Lakers in 2019, Johnson and his wife are prioritizing serving in their church instead.