Magic Johnson Son: Kobe Bryant Responds To Father's Support Of Gay Son
Kobe Bryant thinks the public should not be surprised that Magic Johnson supports his gay son. (Photo: Reuters)
Magic Johnson told TMZ earlier this week that he had no problems with his son's apparent homosexuality.
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"[Wife] Cookie and I love EJ and support him in every way," Magic Johnson said. "We're very proud of him."
TMZ also spoke to another Los Angeles Lakers star, Kobe Bryant. Bryant told the website that he fully understood Magic Johnson's support of his son.
"Of course Magic is supportive of and loves his son," Bryant said. "Why should anyone be surprised? ... "What I can't tolerate is a lack of tolerance."
As the Hollywood Gossip notes, this is not the first time Bryant has made headlines for his thoughts on homosexuality. As ESPN notes, the star was fined $100,000 in 2011 after muttering a gay slur at a referee. Per TMZ, the Human Rights Campaign criticized the guard's choice of language shortly after the incident.
"What a disgrace for Kobe Bryant to use such horribly offensive and distasteful language, especially when millions of people are watching," a representative told the website.
However, it appears that Kobe Bryant has learned his lesson. As the Huffington Post reports, the Laker called out a fan on Twitter earlier this year for using the term "gay" as an insult.
"Just letting you know @PacSmoove @pookeo9 that using 'your gay' as a way to put someone down ain't ok!" he wrote. "#notcool delete that out ur vocab."
When another fan mentioned Bryant's previous use of a gay slur, the guard admitted that he had learned his lesson.
"Exactly!" he wrote. "That wasn't cool and was ignorant on my part. I own it and learn from it and expect the same from others."
Kobe Bryant later defended these tweets in an interview with ESPN.com.
"It's the right thing to do," Bryant said. "I couldn't help myself. I saw it, I was like, 'I can't help myself. I have to respond.' "
Kobe Bryant's support of Magic Johnson and his gay son comes just months after the NBA legend criticized this year's Lakers squad. Per USA Today, Johnson called out several of the team's star players and coaches, including Bryant himself.
"@KobeBryant is having an MVP type season but the team needs him to be a better leader," Magic Johnson wrote in one of his tweets.
This makes Kobe Bryant's statement applauding Magic Johnson's support of his son even more significant. Perhaps if more athletes take this point of view, it could encourage a gay player to come out while still active in professional sports.