Fear Beats Magic

Other players' fear prevents 'Magic' Johnson from having a successful return

In November 1991, 'Magic' Johnson revealed to the entire world that he had HIV (Bio 1). With this, he retired from the Los Angeles Lakers and left the NBA. He participated in the Olympics the following year, and wanted to return to the NBA, but "he dropped that plan after protests from other players who were concerned about competing against an AIDS-infected competitor" (Bio 1). He eventually returned, but was older and did not play as well. He eventually retired for good, but he could have kept playing at a higher level if he would have been able to continue playing after the Olympics. Fear of from other players prevented this from occurring.

Fear and Salem Witch Trials

In The Crucible, one of the themes is how people act during the time of fear, uncertainty, and crisis. Early on in the play, we see people panic when Betty is sick and won't react. They can't find any natural causes, so they panic and immediately start pointing fingers and declaring they are associated with the Devil. Hale says: "Abigail, it may be your cousin is dying. Did you call the Devil last night?" (Miller 1045). Hale immediately turns to blaming someone for practicing witchcraft when Betty won't respond.
Later on, we see how the panic continues to grow when people with a good name are questioned. When Rebecca Nurse is mentioned, John Proctor tells Hale: "But it's hard to think so pious a woman be secretly a Devil's bitch after seventy year of such good prayer." (Miller 1061). This shows us that even the people with the absolute best reputation were questioned when people where uncertain of what was going on. We slowly see how things are becoming worse as the uncertainty grows in Salem.
Eventually, the crisis gets a lot worse and this brings disasters to Salem. When Hale tries to save someone, Danforth replies: " I cannot pardon these when twelve are already hanged for the same crime." (Miller 1101). Danforth is indirectly admitting that the people hung were innocent and it is to late to go back. Fear caused something as serious as death.

Connecting the Dots

In both cases, everything started when people were uncertain. In Salem, people were uncertain of what had happened to Betty. In Johnson's case, NBA players were uncertain of they could catch the disease. In the Baltimore Sun it states: "They also wonder what risk, if any, Johnson posits others in an increasing physical sport where flying elbows and butting heads sometimes draw blood." (Evans 1). This shows that uncertainty can lead to many different devastating outcomes. Another similarity that they share is that anyone could have been a victim. Good people were hung in Salem. Johnson once said: "And here I am saying that it can happen to anybody. Even me, Magic Johnson." (New York Daily News 1). This tells us that during times of fear, anyone can suffer. It does not matter if you are a superstar or a good person. Finally, both cases caused regret once people realized the mistakes they committed. We saw people like Hale and Danforth realize innocent people were killed. Magic later admitted he regretted retiring after he found out he had HIV. (Dwyer 1). As we can see, fear can cause devastating things to anyone. Only when things calm down, do we realize the mistakes we have committed.

Johnson in 2014

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Works Cited

"Magic Johnson Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, n.d. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Miller, Arthur. The Crucible. New York: Viking, 1953. Print.

"Daily News Archives: Magic Johnson's HIV-positive Bombshell." NY Daily News. New York Daily News, 7 Feb. 2014. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Evans, Martin C. "Jury's out on Magic's Return to Court Uncertainty Persists on His Health, Impact." Baltimore Sun. Baltimore Sun, 20 Oct. 1992. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.

Dwyer, Kelly. "20 Years Later, Magic Johnson Still Regrets Retiring from the Lakers." Yahoo Sports. Yahoo Sports, 2 Aug. 2011. Web. 07 Dec. 2014.