Magic Johnson 'The Announcement' Sheds Light on HIV

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  • Earvin
    (PHOTO: Reuters/Fred Prouser)
    Earvin "Magic" Johnson speaks at a news conference in Los Angeles, Nov. 7, 2011.
By Emma Koonse, Christian Post Reporter
March 13, 2012|9:59 am

Earvin "Magic" Johnson publicly announced he had contracted HIV over 20 years ago but has kept everything else private, until now.

The basketball legend played on five National Basketball Association championship teams, and was the league's most valuable player three times. He was also a 12-time all star.

Johnson announced his HIV diagnosis on Nov. 7, 1991, and also announced his retirement from the Los Angeles Lakers.

He will tell his story in "The Announcement," an ESPN documentary that examines Johnson's life beyond the HIV revelation.

Director of "The Announcement" Nelson George explained that Johnson had been approached to make a film about his life for years, but always was reluctant.

"While he does a lot of speaking about this- and has done to persistently- to really sit down and do a lengthy interview about it and have his wife talk about it, that's something they've avoided," said George, according to CNN.

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"We are very fortunate and quite honored that they agreed to do it at this time," George said.

George said that Johnson hopes the film will shed more light on HIV and AIDS- especially for younger people.

"One of the focuses for him is young people," said the director. "The AIDS infection rate for young people, especially among black people, is really bad. He also talks a lot about the idea of drug research. I think there are a couple of agendas for him that are very, very powerful."

"The Announcement" will be narrated by Johnson, and for the first time ever the athlete will reveal what he endured behind closed doors following his very public diagnosis with the virus that causes AIDS.

"It's an event everybody shared in, but clearly this was one that was dealt with by him and his family," explained the film's producer, Rudy Crew, while speaking with CNN at the SXSW festival.

"It was kind of like how Magic was on the court. He was a showman for everybody, but this announcement clearly was different," Crew added.

Johnson has been applauded for being the first African-American to be outspoken about the disease which was initially stigmatized as being linked with homosexuality but has since spread throughout the world, hitting the African-American community hard.

"The Announcement" premiered on ESPN Sunday, but is scheduled for 12 more showings through Apr. 12.

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