NBA Hall of Famer Magic Johnson is embroiled in a controversy that has been proven to be fake news. And he’s spoken out to refute claims that he donated blood.
At issue is a photo heavily circulating on social media showing the serial entrepreneur with the caption: “Earlier today, NBA legend Magic Johnson donated some of his blood to the Red Cross to help underprivileged communities help fight COVID-19.”
However, that claim is far from the truth. Johnson, also an owner of Major League Baseball’s Los Angeles Dodgers and WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks, took to his Twitter account to dispel the rumors spread through social media, AP reports.
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The post was from a satire site. But that didn’t stop people from reposting it on social media and ultimately making it go viral, prompting the Associated Press to publish a story to debunk the claims and compelling Johnson to address the lies.
I’m aware of the false story circling the internet, and to be clear, I have never donated blood.
— Earvin Magic Johnson (@MagicJohnson) August 23, 2022
While some people knew it was a joke, many believed it to be a true story.
According to The Associated Press, a photograph of the Los Angeles Lakers legend, who was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, shows him taking part in having blood drawn at his doctor’s office.
The fact-checking team at The Associated Press determined that the image shared on social media is “miscaptioned.” They stated that the photograph is 10 years old from a 2012 documentary.
According to reports, the Red Cross doesn’t draw blood from people infected with HIV; even if Johnson were to try to donate, the organization would not accept it.
The pic used for this post was for the 2012 documentary titled, Endgame: AIDS in Black America. In the photo, Johnson is having his blood drawn at his doctor’s office, Dr. David Ho.