Essay on Magic johnson

Submitted By Kkarabe4
Words: 1040
Pages: 5

Few athletes are truly unique, changing the way their sport is played with their singular skills. Earvin “Magic” Johnson was one of them. He could control the game and is still considered today, one of the best basketball players in history. But in 1991, tragedy hit Johnson and would soon force him to retire. He publicly announced to America that he was infected with HIV. At the time, Americans assumed that these virus’ were only obtainable through homosexuals or intense drug users. There was a lot of fear and confusion as to why people had the virus or how the disease was transmitted. Johnson’s strength and great courage allowed him to go public with his virus, and helped raise large amounts of awareness. “ I just want to make clear, first of all, that I do not have the AIDS disease-- ‘cause I know a lot of you are -- want to know that -- but the HIV virus.” He informed the public of his medical conditions and pleaded for people to be careful. “I will now become a spokesman for the HIV virus because I want people -- young people to realize that they can practice safe sex.” Johnson made it clear that his family was not infected, and made people feel that it’s okay to have the virus, and it is nothing to be ashamed of or hide away from. This speech deserves to be one of the top in American History because not only did it help inform the public the seriousness of taking care of yourselves, it gave confidence in people that if a famous figure has the disease and could go public about it and get help, then so can they. Magic Johnson was a legend on the court, but because of his courage to reveal that he had HIV at the time, he was a leader off of it. Magic Johnson was born on August 14, 1959, in Lansing, Michigan. Johnson grew up from a large family, being one of nine children. From a young age he had a passion for basketball. He would wake up at early hours of the day every single day to practice the sport. “Magic” Johnson received his famous nickname after a sportswriter witnessed him score 36 points, 16 rebounds, and 16 assists during a single high school game. Standing at 6 feet 9 inches tall, he made for an impressive point guard. He then went on to play basketball at Michigan State University, leading his team to a Big Ten Conference title and a NCAA title. After playing college ball for just two years, Johnson was drafted by the LA Lakers in 1979. He was given the MVP title, helped his team clinch the NBA title and made an amazing career for himself. In November 1991, Magic Johnson revealed to the public that he had the HIV virus, which he believed he contracted through unprotected sex. “Because of the HIV virus that I have attained,” he said, “I will have to retire from the Lakers --today.” After retiring from the LA Lakers, Magic Johnson would go on to build up a business empire, consisting of real estate holdings, several Starbucks franchises, movie theaters, writing, and a campaign for the virus (you can find more information about the campaign at magicjohnson.com).
During the year of 1991, the time of when Magic Johnson announced he was infected with the HIV virus, many other events had been taking place. The Gulf War was taking place and in January, Operation Desert Storm began. In Washington D.C, tens of thousands of people rallied against the Persian Gulf War. In early February, the 1990 recession ended. In March, United Airlines Flight 585 crashed, killing 25 people. Serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer is captured and arrested after police finding the remains of victims. The Chicago Bulls had won their first NBA title, defeating the LA Lakers. By the end of 1991, the Cold War ended as Mikhail Gorbachev resigned and the USSR dissolved. During all of the craziness going on in the year, Magic Johnson went out of his way to…