Monday marked the 20th anniversary of Magic Johnson announcing to the world that he had HIV, one of the true shockwave moments in sports history. I still remember riding in the back of my parents’ car from some family event when it came on the radio and then wondering “So does this mean he’s going to die?”
Surely I wasn’t the only one to have that thought, but amazingly Magic is still with us. And while I’m sure you don’t wish someone “Happy Anniversary” for having a disease, one can’t help but wonder what kind of impact Magic’s full disclosure had on HIV and AIDS awareness in this country. Though it is far from eradicated in other parts of the world, the number of fatalities due to the disease have decreased in the US since 1996.
But that’s all very serious stuff. One of the other things Magic’s disclosure eventually led to was an awesome AIDS awareness video co-starring Arsenio Hall and directed by Malcolm Jamal Warner.
It’s basically the cream of the early ’90s celebrity crop, even featuring an appearance from Color Me Badd. (Apparently they wanted to sex you up safely). There’s also a NPH cameo (that’s Neil Patrick Harris for you cave-dwellers), the “comedy” of Pauly Shore and rapping by Jaleel White, aka Steve Urkel.
But enough spoilers. Find yourself 42 minutes and watch this most glorious public service announcement: