Magic Johnson says he’s outraged that a pair of Minneapolis talk radio hosts accused him of faking AIDS. KTLK’s Chris Baker and Langdon Perry made the remarks during Baker’s conservative talk show on Wednesday. The context for the remarks wasn’t clear.
According to a partial transcript and audio clip posted on a media watchdog site, mediamatters.org, the remarks came after a caller complained about demands on workers. Perry responded by asking about treatable diseases that a person can live with for a long time “if you just get some basic drugs.”
Baker responded, “Like Magic Johnson?”
Perry replied, “Like Magic with his faked AIDS. Magic faked AIDS.”
Baker said, “You think Magic faked AIDS for sympathy?”
Perry replied, “I’m convinced that Magic faked AIDS.”
“Me too,” Baker said.
Johnson issued a statement Thursday saying he was “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,” Johnson said. “Chris, Langdon and KTLK should use their power in a more positive light by encouraging people to get tested for this disease instead of making up such ridiculous lies.”
Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and retired from the NBA at 32.
A KTLK program director didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.