Earvin “Magic” Johnson admits he still feels a bit of trepidation when he gets pulled over by the police. This despite the fact he’s a world-recognized icon from both the sports and business worlds with hundreds of millions in his bank account.
Johnson, 61, revealed his uneasiness with traffic stops while speaking with venerated California Congresswoman Maxine Waters during the 2020 Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference.
“When I see a police car, I still get nervous, and I have to, you know, do everything the right way to make sure, first, I don’t get pulled over, second, if I do get pulled over, my hands are on the steering wheel,” the Lakers legend and Hall of Famer told Waters.
“I’m going to abide by the commands, and I’m going to try to do everything the right way. Any instructions that they give me, I’m going to make sure I comply with those instructions.”
Johnson appeared at the conference, which is normally held every September in Washington, D.C., from a remote location. He told the virtual audience that at this juncture, the rules are applied differently for Black men and women and we should act accordingly.
“Make sure, whether it’s a father or mother, you have those tough conversations with your son and your daughter as well, and make sure you help them understand,” Johnson said. “Listen, it’s not a time to be a tough guy [and say] you’re not going to take it from the police or you’re not going to take crap from somebody. You have to put your guard down and just do what you’re supposed to do to be here a long time.”
Listen to more of Johnson’s conversation with Waters in the video below.