The Lakers president briefly turned to politics at the end of his speech during Kobe Bryant’s No. 8 and No. 24 jersey retirement ceremony, telling Bryant he needs to use his platform to help unite this country.
“The thing Kobe is this, brother: We need you right now. When I look into this audience, there [are] all races of people [who] come together, cheered you on for 20 years. And this country needs to come together,” Magic said.
“And you were able to bring us all together — the city and Los Angeles — for 20 years. So I want to thank you for that.”
Both Magic and Kobe previously criticized Donald Trump for his repeated divisive remarks following Stephen Curry’s announcement that he would not attend the White House if the Warriors were invited.
Magic Johnson briefly turned to politics at the end of his speech honoring Kobe Bryant Monday night.
“A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can’t possibly “Make America Great Again,”” Kobe tweeted in September.
Magic, who previously said he will no longer stay at a Trump hotel, told The Undefeated in September he doesn’t believe Trump “understands” equality or diversity.
“Stay focused on North Korea, job creation, what this country needs. You can’t take away, whether it’s a player or an individual, freedom of speech,” Magic said. “And you have to be in touch with why everybody is protesting. He doesn’t understand that equality, diversity and inclusion is so important.”