Magic Johnson says he still has ‘the conversation’ with his adult sons about the dangers of interacting with the police because ‘if that could happen to George Floyd it could happen to them’
- Retired Lakers star Magic Johnson told CNN he still needs to lecture his adult sons about the dangers of interacting with the police as an African American man
- Johnson spoke during national protests about the death of George Floyd, who was killed in a violent arrest for an alleged forgery in Minneapolis
- Video of the scene shows Floyd being taken out of his car and forced to the ground where an officer, Derek Chauvin, stabbed his knee in the neck
- Johnson told CNN that Floyd “did everything he had to do, and this cop put all his body weight, all his body weight on his neck.”
- The Lansing, Michigan resident was among the first generation of African American students brought to schools in white neighborhoods in the 1970s
- Johnson wrote that his older siblings had intense racism in the school
- Lansing is one of several sites for the nationwide protests against Floyd’s murder
Despite the life of a multimillionaire in Los Angeles, retired Lakers star Magic Johnson says he still feels the need to educate his adult sons about the dangers of interacting with the police as an African American man.
“I had that conversation because it is important that I have that conversation with both [my sons] E.J. and Andre, ”Johnson said CNN.
The 60-year-old Hall of Fame guard spoke in national protests about the death of George Floyd, who was murdered last week during a violent arrest for an alleged forgery in Minneapolis.
Despite the life of a multimillionaire in Los Angeles, retired Lakers star Magic Johnson says he still feels the need to see his sons Andre (far left next to his mother, Cookie) and E.J. (almost right) about the dangers of interacting with the police as an African American man
Johnson spoke to CNN about the difficulties African-American men face with the police
Viral video of the scene shows Floyd being removed from his car and forced to the ground, where an officer, Derek Chauvin, hit his knee in the neck while the 46-year-old screamed that he couldn’t breathe.
Floyd didn’t seem to respond after six minutes, but stayed on the ground for about three more minutes. He was later pronounced dead in a local hospital.
“Let’s look at George Floyd,” said Johnson. “He did everything he had to do. And this policeman put all his body weight, all his body weight, on his neck for eight minutes. So if that can happen to George Floyd, E.J. and Andre and more black men. ‘
Chauvin and his fellow police officers Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J. Alexander Kueng were fired on Tuesday and since then Chauvin has been arrested for murder and manslaughter.
Born in Lansing, Michigan, Johnson was among the first generation of African American students brought from their neighborhood to schools in white neighborhoods. In his autobiography, My Life, Johnson revealed that his older siblings had experienced intense racism at the school, Everett, before becoming a national basketball sensation as a teenager.
Derek Chauvin was identified as the officer who pinned Floyd into video footage that was widely shared on Tuesday. He has since been arrested and charged with third-degree murder over the death of George Floyd
Police officers try to disperse people during a protest in Johnson’s hometown of Lansing
A protester holds up a sign that says “ Stop Killing Us ” at Johnson’s adopted home in Los Angeles
“There are many George Floyd’s in our community who have not been reported or seen, and people living in black America know that,” said Johnson. “The only reason we act like that is because we’re tired of it. We are tired of it. We can’t take it anymore. ‘
The good thing, from Johnson’s point of view, is that it’s not just black citizens protesting on the street, but thousands of white protesters as well.
“All the people are there and they are showing their strength and they are making their voices heard,” he continued.
“These young people got a voice at the table. They want their voices to be heard. They want their concerns to be heard. And then they want action to be taken. And so they protest for a long time until their voice is heard. ‘
Magic Johnson (center right), Cookie Johnson (center left), EJ Johnson (far right), Andre Johnson (near left) and Elisa Jordan (near right) and arrive at the 2014 Carousel Of Hope Ball presented by Mercedes-Benz at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 11, 2014 in Beverly Hills