Charlamagne Tha God once shared a conspiracy theory he heard about Magic Johnson allegedly being a target for HIV - "They needed an alpha male"
During a 2015 episode of 'The Joe Rogan Podcast,' Charlamagne Tha God shared a conspiracy theory that he heard which suggested Magic Johnson was targeted for being infected with HIV.
"Listen, it was this older white dude, and I forgot what TV show I was on the set of, but he was explaining to me the whole situation with Magic, and he was like, the reason that they chose Magic was because they wanted to erase a lot of these stigmas," Charlamagne said.
"People thought that HIV and AIDS was a gay disease, and they needed, like, alpha male, I guess, to have it, to kind of erase that stigma and to let people know that you can live with it. Like HIV. They gave it to him. Well, this is what he told me, by the way."
"This is not a Charlamagne. I'm telling you what somebody told me...I'm not saying I believe that Magic theory. I'm just repeating what I was told. That is a common rumor that's out there."
Johnson was diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and has been transparent about his battle with the illness. Modern medicine allows people with HIV to live fairly normal lives, with similar lifespans to people who don't have the virus.
Charlamagne believes HIV was the 'best endorsement' Magic Johnson ever got
During the same podcast episode with Joe Rogan, Charlamagne shared his belief that Magic Johnson contracting HIV was the 'best endorsement he ever got.'
"What is HIV? What is it? Some say the greatest endorsement deal Magic Johnson ever signed," Charlamagne said. "'I'm saying we're not going to act like his career didn't flourish. It looks great. Take this AIDS. You go and get some movie deal. I was in my car the day they announced on the radio that Magic Johnson had HIV, and I was sh------ my pants.
"I was like, oh, my God, this is like the beginning of a zombie movie. We're all going to get it. If Magic Johnson, with all his money and all his fame, if he's got it. I'm going to get it. We're all going to get it. I was terrified... 30 years later. He looks great. He looks amazing. He's on TV telling us why he left the mother------- Lakers and not the Lakers. Not. Not once did somebody say, Yo, you know, Magic got HIV."
There is no longer a stigma surrounding HIV, which has allowed celebrities such as Johnson to discuss the issue and raise awareness. Furthermore, Johnson did return to the NBA after a four-year hiatus to play one final season after being diagnosed with HIV.
During that season, Magic Johnson played in 32 games, starting 9 of them, averaging 14.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 6.9 assists per game, shooting 48.7% from 2-point range and 37.9% from 3-point range.
Despite his HIV diagnosis, Johnson is still one of the most popular former NBA players in the world and continues to share his thoughts and opinions on the league.