Magic Johnson outraged over claims he faked HIV
Former NBA star Magic Johnson has said he is "outraged" after two talk radio hosts in Minnesota accused him of faking his HIV status.
Chris Baker and Langdon Perry of station KTLK questioned whether or not Hall of Fame hero Johnson, who led the Los Angeles Lakers' "Showtime" dynasty of the 1980s, was being truthful when he disclosed in 1991 that he had contracted HIV.
"Magic faked AIDS," Perry said.
"You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?" Baker replied.
"I'm convinced that Magic faked AIDS," Perry said.
"Yeah, me too," Baker said.
"I'm not sure why," Perry added. "But I'm pretty sure he faked AIDS. Because he's the only cured AIDS guy ever."
That exchange Wednesday prompted a response statement from Johnson, 49, on Friday that was reported by the Los Angeles Times.
"I am extremely disappointed in KTLK in Minneapolis," Johnson said. "I am outraged that Chris Baker and Langdon Perry would minimize such a serious and deadly issue.
"Millions are dying from HIV/AIDS and the fact that they would make jokes about my status is unbelievable.
Magic Johnson announced in 1991 that he was HIV positive. He was honoured as one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996; since retiring from the sport he has been an advocate for HIV/Aids prevention and safe sex.
KTLK has said it will air public service announcements on HIV and Aids and said it regretted "some off-hand remarks" by the two radio show hosts.