Magic Johnson Reflects on Faith and Living with HIV for 30 Years

Los Angeles Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson recently recognized the 30th anniversary of his retirement from the NBA following his HIV diagnosis.

On Sunday, Johnson, now 62, took to social media to reflect on how God has used the past three decades of his life.

“God has really blessed me! 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,” Johnson wrote in a series of tweets.

“Through it all, I learned to trust in Jesus, and I learned to trust in God!” he added.

When Johnson announced his retirement on Nov. 7, 1991, he was one of the top stars in the NBA, having won five championships, three league MVP awards, and been declared an All-Star 11 times. He is considered to be one of the greatest NBA players of all time.

According to Sports Spectrum, Johnson’s rivalry with Boston Celtics star Larry Bird helped grow the popularity of the NBA.

Johnson’s diagnosis with HIV came at a time when the disease was widely misunderstood, and little research had been done on how it was contracted or spread.

Following his retirement, Johnson established the Magic Johnson Foundation in 1991 to raise public awareness about HIV and AIDS.

As stated on its website, the foundation “develops programs and supports community-based organizations that address the educational, health and social needs of ethnically diverse, urban communities.”

Johnson, an outspoken Christian, is a member of West Angeles Church of God in Christ in LA. In 2019, he stepped down from his role as president of operations with the Lakers so that he and his wife, Cookie, could devote themselves to serving their church community.

“It’s truly a blessing when you know what direction you’re going in,” Johnson told Charisma News at the time. “It’s such a change for me because now when I go to speak to corporations, I lead off by praising the Lord … You can touch somebody else to praise the Lord.”

Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Isaac Brekken/Stringer

Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer. He is also the co-hosts of the For Your Soul podcast, which seeks to equip the church with biblical truth and sound doctrine. Visit his blog Blessed Are The Forgiven.

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