News spread around the globe after three UCLA basketball stars got arrested in China for shoplifting. It looked very bad for these American students, who could have faced years in jail. However, everything changed after word came out that President Donald Trump intervened. Now, people are outraged over what LaVar Ball, the father of one of the students, said about our President.
Many people were shocked when they learned that LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill were arrested while on their trip to China. While overseas for a special basketball tournament, the three students were arrested for stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store.
It was bad press for sure. During a special event that was to mark cooperation between the United States and China, three of our citizens insult the host country. The story cast a pall on the tournament and made the U.S. look bad. After all, the students’ behavior reflects poorly on the rest of our country.
Things were looking pretty bad for the students. Not only would they had have to stay in China for months as investigators built their case, but the penalty for shoplifting amounted to ten years in prison. That would surely bring their basketball and academic careers to an end. Worse still was the news that Chinese police claim they had surveillance footage of the boys stealing from other stores as well.
However, everything changed when President Trump, who happened to be in China at the time, was able to convince President Xi Jinping to smooth things over. The case was dropped, and the boys were able to fly home, scot-free. You better believe that wouldn’t have happened if Trump didn’t intervene. The students even arranged a press conference where they publicly thanked the President, which was a good move on their part.
Unfortunately, one of the boy’s fathers didn’t share their appreciation. When asked about the President’s role in freeing his son, LaVar Ball insulted Trump, making it seem like the President didn’t do anything to help. Worse still, LaVar tried to downplay his child’s crimes, as if they weren’t a big deal. Bad move.
Many, such as ESPN’s Tony Kornheiser, noted that the three players have Trump to thank for their quick release in a case that would have seen a Chinese citizen detained for months before the legal process even began. Indeed, not long after they arrived safely home, the players all joined in a press conference to thank the president for his efforts.
But now, LiAngelo Ball’s father is saying he and his family have no reason to be grateful to the president.
The senior Ball spoke to ESPN’s Arash Markazi on Trump’s intercession, and instead of thanking the president, Ball attacked him.
“Who?” Ball said when Markazi raised the topic. “What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out,” he added. [Source: Breitbart]
Wow. I mean, wow. I know that there are plenty of people — mostly liberals — who have nasty things to say about the President, but when Trump just got your boy out of a ten-year prison sentence, you’d think the least a father could do is be appreciative.
It seems like LaVar Ball doesn’t understand the gravity of what his son was facing. It’s not like he stole something in America. UCLA and family lawyers could easily get his son out of a jam stateside, but this was Communist China! There is no such thing as the Bill of Rights over there, nor is the concept of “innocent until proven guilty.” LiAngelo Ball and the other two students could have been doomed. Ten years in jail? That would have only been the beginning of their misery.
Yet, Trump spent some of his newly established credibility with China to get them released. I’m sure there are people in China who are upset that these boys were released, even though they were accused of stealing. President Trump put his neck on the line to help them. However, LaVar Ball doesn’t even seem to view his son’s alleged crimes as much of a big deal.
“I’m happy with how things were handled. A lot of people like to say a lot of things that they thought happened over there. Like I told him, ‘They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.’ I’m from L.A. I’ve seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses. My son has built up enough character that one bad decision doesn’t define him. Now if you can go back and say when he was 12 years old he was shoplifting and stealing cars and going wild, then that’s a different thing.” [Source: ESPN]
Yes, Ball, you’re right. It wasn’t the same as stealing a car, but your son did break the law. How about you just calm down and be thankful the President was able to get him out of rotting in a Chinese prison cell? Perhaps Ball is just upset that — while they got out of going to jail — UCLA wasn’t at all pleased with the bad press.
The fallout for the players did not end with their release from Chinese custody. All three players were suspended indefinitely from the UCLA team upon returning home. [Source: Breitbart]
So much for their hoop dreams — but that’s what happens when you embarrass a major university in front of the entire world.