Trump says he should have left UCLA players in Chinese jail

President Trump Blasts Father of Recently Released UCLA Player for Being Unappreciative of His Help in Gaining Son’s Release

Trump on UCLA players released from China: 'I should have left them in jail!'

LiAngelo Ball, brother of Lakers rookie Lonzo Ball, was one of the three UCLA basketball players detained in China on suspicion of shoplifting before Trump helped return them to the United States.

The president tweeted that Ball is "unaccepting" of what he did for his son, LiAngelo Ball, adding that because of that he should have left the college students in Chinese jail.

Ball's son LiAngelo and two of his teammates, Jalen Hill and Cody Riley, were arrested November 8 after stealing designer sunglasses in Shanghai, according to the New York Times.

Ball and his teammates were suspended indefinitely, and that appeared to be the end of the controversy - until LaVar insisted Friday that he wasn't ready to give Trump full credit for his son's release.

The players returned to Los Angeles on Tuesday and thanked Trump for his role in bringing them home, which Trump wondered if they would do on Twitter on Wednesday. That's gonna be debated, that's gonna be argued about, but I want to put that on the table: "it sure looks like race-baiting to a lot of people".

Trump, apparently insecure about approval ratings, asked whether the players would thank him. They went to jail, but were released on bail, which is something that apparently indicated the Chinese authorities were taking a rather chill approach to all of this to begin with.

As long as my boy's back here, I'm fine. Don't tell me nothing. "I'm happy with how things were handled".

While all three thanked Trump in a press conference after the fact, LaVar Ball's resistance to acknowledge that his son received help led to the Twitter storm.

UCLA athletic director Dan Guerrero said Wednesday that the players stole from three stores.

"I think what you see here another example of Donald Trump trying to pick a fight with a prominent black person who he considers uppity", Smith explained.

Latest News