Magic Johnson gets political at end of Kobe Bryant speech

Magic Johnson refused to stick to sports.

The Lakers president briefly turned to politics at the end of his speech during Kobe Bryant's No. 8 and No. 24 jersey retirement ceremony, telling Bryant he needs to use his platform to help unite this country.

"The thing Kobe is this, brother: We need you right now. When I look into this audience, there [are] all races of people [who] come together, cheered you on for 20 years. And this country needs to come together," Magic said.

"And you were able to bring us all together -- the city and Los Angeles -- for 20 years. So I want to thank you for that."

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Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony
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Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kobe Bryant speaks at his jersey retirement ceremony during halftime of a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant seated courtside with his family looks on during a basketball game between the Golden State Warriors and Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. The Lakers retired Bryant's #8 and #24 jersey during halftime ceremony. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Magic Johnson, Jeanie Buss, Rob Pelinka, Kobe Bryant, and his family pose for a photo after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson hug after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: A general view of the STAPLES Center during Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Bill Russell and Kobe Bryant greet after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Head Coach Luke Walton of the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant greet after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kevin Durant #35 of the Golden State Warriors and Kobe Bryant shake hands after the jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kobe Bryant walks off court after his jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: A general view of the STAPLES Center during Kobe Bryant's jersey retirement ceremony on December 18, 2017 at STAPLES Center in Los Angeles, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Adam Pantozzi/NBAE via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 18: Kobe Bryant speaks at a press conference prior to a basketball game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Golden State Warriors at Staples Center on December 18, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images)
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Both Magic and Kobe previously criticized Donald Trump for his repeated divisive remarks following Stephen Curry's announcement that he would not attend the White House if the Warriors were invited.

"A #POTUS whose name alone creates division and anger. Whose words inspire dissension and hatred can't possibly "Make America Great Again,"" Kobe tweeted in September.

Magic, who previously said he will no longer stay at a Trump hotel, told The Undefeated in September he doesn't believe Trump "understands" equality or diversity.

"Stay focused on North Korea, job creation, what this country needs. You can't take away, whether it's a player or an individual, freedom of speech," Magic said. "And you have to be in touch with why everybody is protesting. He doesn't understand that equality, diversity and inclusion is so important."

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