How much is a simple “thank you” worth? Nothing, but even that apparently is too much for an ungrateful father to give, earning in return the irk of the President.
LaVar Ball, the father of LiAngelo Ball, one of three basketball players of UCLA caught and jailed in China for suspected shoplifting sunglasses in a Louis Vuitton store while their team was in the Chinese city of Hangzhou and whom President Donald Trump rescued, chose to play arrogant ball and dismissed the President’s help for the release of his son. While the young athletes involved previously thanked Trump, the elder Ball showed little or no appreciation for the President’s intervention in appealing for the players’ release and eventual return to the U.S.
LaVar Ball was asked on Friday about Trump’s help and he answered: “Who? What was he over there for? Don’t tell me nothing. Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out.”
Of course, the President did not let the comment pass without a rebuttal. Trump took to his favorite platform to “give it back”’ to Ball. The President posted on Twitter:
“Now that the three basketball players are out of China and saved from years in jail, LaVar Ball, the father of LiAangelo, is unaccepting of what I did for his son and that shoplifting is no big deal. I should have left them in jail!”
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">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!</p>— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) <a href="https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/932303108146892801?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">November 19, 2017</a></blockquote> <script async src="https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>
The elder LaVar not only showed ungratefulness that a President had to intervene just to get his son and his teammates out of prison in a foreign country as China, he also dismissed what his son and the other boys were accused of- as if shoplifting is “normal” and “no big deal.”
The father told ESPN: “As long as my boy’s back here, I’m fine. 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.”
Would it be a wonder then that the son tried to freely take things without paying as if they are his for the taking when he has a father who cannot even give what is free to do so- simple thank you and even dismiss what is not only inappropriate but illegal.
Shoplifting anywhere is illegal anywhere, the fact that those cagers did it in a foreign country which is not exactly the friendliest to the U.S. makes the act a national embarrassment. That a President had to bring the issue of the players when he and Chinese President Xi had so much more important stuff to discuss like trade, security and North Korea, should have made the players and their families more appreciative.
At least, the son said his thanks. Apparently, it is the father who has so much more to learn aside from playing hard, arrogant ball.