Magic Johnson couldn’t be more proud of his son, Earvin Johnson III, affectionally known as EJ. Earlier this week, EJ made headlines when he was seen holding hands with his boyfriend walking down Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California. Today, Johnson tells TMZ he’s “a million percent” behind his son.

In a candid interview with Harvey Levin, Johnson recounts the moment his son, now 20 years old, came out to the family. “We’ve known for a long, long time that my son, EJ, was gay,” said Johnson. “It’s interesting when you’re his parents. We finally had to sit down and talk about it… We also wanted to protect him, too.”

Johnson, a father or three, admits it was a tough conversation to have with EJ, who was around 14 at the time. “What do you tell him at that age and what do you say to him,” asked Johnson. “I told him we are here to support you. We’re going to love you, no matter who you are or what you do. We just want you to love yourself and also to make sure that you have all the information.” The Los Angeles Dodgers owner says he continues to love his son unconditionally. “I love EJ so much, that’s my main man. I said, ‘Nothing has changed. I just want to help you along the way.'”

When news hit the blogs, some folks weren’t so kind to the images and video of EJ wearing a fur coat and carrying a red leather bag. Johnson says he doesn’t care who criticizes his son. “I’m going to still support him and I’m going to still love him. He’s a good kid. He’s a good young man.”

He hopes that EJ’s decision to go more public about his life will encourage more young Black people to come out of the closet. “I think this is going to be good for a lot of Black young people that want to come out,” said Johnson. “He’s going to be that symbol of hope.”