The Philanthropy of Magic Johnson

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The Philanthropy of Magic Johnson In a year were so many great athletes are no longer with us, Payne Stewart, Wilt Chamberlain, Joe DiMaggio, Walter Payton, the man we thought would have passed away first is still among us, Magic Johnson. Rick Reilly does a remarkable job on this praising article on Magic. Reilly talks about how fit magic is. "He can bench 325 pounds. Weighing 245, he's about 20 pounds heavier than he was in his prime, but now he's ripped." He is still playing basketball in different celebrity appearances, and plays quite well in them although he is way older than everyone there. What really impressed me the most about Magic is influence as a black businessman. Reilly showed me, as well as America, a different side of Magic that is not seen on Sports Center. "He owns five Starbucks and has plans to open 10 more, nearly all of them in black neighborhoods, including one in Crenshaw and one in Harlem." Magic is willing to put money into the ghettos when other white investors are not. He owns many different businesses, from a TV company to a bank. What is truly amazing is he hires all black people to build and work his businesses. "Magic feels like many black athletes forget where they came from, I try not to." When I read this I was really stunned. He made a fortune taking risks that many other people won't try. He is living his life to the fullest and using his HIV experience to educate great number of people. It really is truly marvelous to see a man as rich as magic do so much for other people. Yes, he is still making money, but you get the feeling that it's not all about the Benjamin's. The article suggests that Michael (and we know which Michael) would be this involved that they could really make even more of a difference and help give back to where they came from. What also gets me is that Magic could easily just sit around and do nothing, because of his HIV, and we (society) would think nothing of it. But he didn't he's out there making a different to "his people" and not getting a lot of attention. At least I haven't heard any thing besides this Rick Reilly article, and I think of myself as a man who keeps up with what's going on in sports and it's supporting cast.

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