President Donald Trump is now publicly feuding with the father of one of the UCLA basketball players recently released from jail in China.
Authorities briefly detained LiAngelo Ball, brother of Los Angeles Lakers’ Lonzo Ball and son of former football player LaVar Ball, in the Chinese city of Hangzhou, along with his teammates Cody Riley and Jalen Hill, over allegations of shoplifting Louis Vuitton sunglasses.
The athletes soon returned to Los Angeles after Trump reportedly raised the issue with Chinese President Xi Jinping during his recent trip to Asia.
Following their return, the players apologized for stealing and thanked the president for securing winning their release – after he called them out for not showing their gratitude.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
“I'd also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they provided as well,” LiAngelo Ball told reporters upon his return.
Trump was more than pleased, obviously.
To the three UCLA basketball players I say: You're welcome, go out and give a big Thank You to President Xi Jinping of China who made.....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
....your release possible and, HAVE A GREAT LIFE! Be careful, there are many pitfalls on the long and winding road of life!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 16, 2017
However, LaVar Ball did not seem to agree the president played any substantial part in his son’s release.
In an interview with the ESPN, the father claimed Trump did not have much to do with the case.
“Everybody wants to make it seem like [Trump] helped me out,” the elder Ball said. “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.”
Not the one to be downplayed, Trump did not take too kindly to Ball’s comments and responded by attacking the former athlete in his usual fashion – by throwing a temper tantrum.
Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Yes, the president of the United States was so livid for not being appreciated for doing his job that he said he regretted not leaving three American citizens in the Chinese jail.
Talk about being petty.
Unfortunately, Trump did not stop there.
Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar. Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 19, 2017
Given the circumstances, Ball’s comments may not have been particularly pleasant, but Trump, being the commander-in-chief, needs to realize he cannot just lose his cool over private citizens – that too on a social media platform.
Twitter users had a lot to say about the feud.
I read the President's tweets to LaVar Ball just now over the phone & he questioned why the President wasn't focused on more important things.— Michael Del Moro (@MikeDelMoro) November 20, 2017
November 19, 1863: President Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address, widely considered to be one of the most important speeches in American history— Josh Billinson (@jbillinson) November 19, 2017
November 19, 2017: President Trump fights with LaVar Ball, expresses regret about not leaving American citizens in China
LaVar Ball vs. Donald Trump is the epic clash of the intellectual titans America deserves.— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) November 19, 2017
laVar ball and trump gotta play one on one and the winner gets america— Desus Nice (@desusnice) November 19, 2017
Make no mistake - when Donald Trump attacks a private citizen like LaVar Ball (twice in one day!) he's calling out the hordes of right wing loons to do their harassment thing. He absolutely knows what happens when he does this.— Charles Johnson (@Green_Footballs) November 20, 2017
Donald Trump is making me like LaVar Ball and 2017 is horrible.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) November 19, 2017
Trump vs LaVar Ball is like the Super Bowl of moronic trolls.— Emma Vigeland (@EmmaVigeland) November 20, 2017
lavar ball vs trump is an international mens day tradition— Open Mike Eagle (@Mike_Eagle) November 19, 2017
California Rep. Ted Lieu (D) also took to Twitter to call out Trump:
Dear @realDonaldTrump: As public servants, we help people because it is the right thing to do, not because we want to be praised for it. Also, the US President should never wish for Americans to be locked up in a foreign jail. https://t.co/nKPqotDUC2— Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) November 19, 2017
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters, Joshua Roberts