Unfortunately, social media can be a breeding ground for endless amounts of fake news and basketball legend Magic Johnson has found himself right in the middle of it. The Internet lit up when rumors and untrue reports began to surface that Magic Johnson, who has been HIV positive since 1991, had recently donated blood.
Earlier this week a photo of Magic Johnson circulated after it was posted by a satire Twitter account. In the photo, the NBA legend is seen having his blood drawn by a doctor. The account captioned the photo stating that Magic “donated some of his blood to the Red Cross to help underprivileged communities help fight COVID-19.” However, the report was completely false and the photo, which is old, was taken out of context.
Addressing the false reports and social media reaction to the photo, Magic Johnson took to Twitter, writing “I’m aware of the false story circling the internet and to be clear, I have never donated blood.”
According to multiple media outlets, including the Associated Press, the photo in question of Magic Johnson was taken back in 2012 as part of a documentary called “Endgame: AIDS in Black America.” In the image, he was getting his blood drawn while at a doctor’s appointment, not donating it, as the false claims stated.
You’ll recall that the American Red Cross strictly prohibits anyone from donating blood that has tested positive for HIV at any point in their lives.