Originally posted on The Other Paper  |  Last updated 4/3/13
Over the weekend Magic Johnson came out in support of his openly gay son Earvin Johnson III and said he could be any happier for his 20-year-old kid. The former NBA great told TMZ that he and his wife Cookie "support him in every way" and "we're very proud of him." Kobe Bryant was so impressed by Magic's stand on his son's personal life, he lauded Johnson's support as a lesson to be learned by everyone — including pro athletes. "Of course Magic is supportive of and loves his son," Bryant told TMZ on Tuesday, "Why should anyone be surprised? "What I can't tolerate is a lack of tolerance," he added. Bryant's support carries a lot of weight — especially with all of the talk of a pro athlete reportedly ready to come out of the closet and continue playing. The strong implication from the Lakers star is that tolerance isn't just limited to parents and their children — but may soon make its way into relationships between straight and gay professional athletes. The younger Johnson — nicknamed EJ3 — was spotted with his new boyfriend on the Sunset Strip and  told reporters he was a huge fan of his dad's former team, the Los Angeles Lakers,  and was "hoping and praying" for the team this season. Both Magic and Kobe's stature in the league means their statements could help pave the way for players coming out in the future. It seems like it's only a matter of time.
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