Earvin “Magic” Johnson and his son EJ Johnson offered a helping hand to Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union after the Wade’s child Zaya Wade came out as transgender.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight ahead of the release of Magic Johnson’s new Apple TV+ docuseries They Call Me Magic, the former Lakers star, 62, revealed that EJ, who came out publicly as gay in 2013, helped inspire Wade, 40, and Union, 49, who publicly opened up about Zaya’s gender identity more than two years ago.
Magic said: “We’ve always been people who try to do the right thing and do the thing we were supposed to do.
“No way we were not gonna support our son. No way we were gonna not love him, as we tell him, be who you want to be, we gonna love you regardless, we gonna support you.”
He continued, “And then because of that, Dwyane and Gabs said, ‘Oh man, look at that.’ We are looking at out part, do our own thing with our own son, so if we can help anybody just by being who we are, just by doing the right thing, that’s a good thing and a powerful thing.”
At the premiere for They Call Me Magic, Gabrielle Union told ET that Magic and his wife Cookie Johnson were particularly helpful in assisting her family after Zaya came out.
“It’s all about perseverance and putting your family first and loving every member of your family equally and out loud. And they showed us the way,” Gabrielle Union said at the time, noting that Magic and Cookie “were the first people we called.”
“They gave us the blueprint,” she continued. “And literally, every step of the way, in my career, in his career, they have been there.”
Dwyane shared similar sentiments with ET. “To me, that’s like what Magic and Cookie have been to us as adults,” he said. “And to see EJ do the same thing to Zaya, it was amazing.”
Ultimately, Johnson said he is thankful that he and his son “have influenced people” both on and off the court. “If we’ve done that,” he told ET, “then we have been a blessing.”