Lavar Ball has done enough

andre thompson, Staff Writer

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On Nov. 7, Liangelo Ball and two other UCLA Bruins basketball players were arrested for shoplifting at a Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, China. The incident caused a media uproar since one of the players is known in the public eye for not only being the brother of Los Angeles Lakers point guard, Lonzo Ball, but also as the son of Lavar Ball. The horrible incident forced UCLA men’s basketball coach, Steve Alford, to suspend all three players in until further notice. Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill avoided three to ten years of jail time for their legal offense did not make any comment to national or international media outlets.

Then, during the controversial event in China, according to a CNN report, “U.S. President, Donald Trump was visiting the President  of China, Xi Jinping, to discuss foreign policies when Trump found out about the UCLA dispute. His help led to the reduction of the charges due to a misdemeanor as well as the release of the players to their hotel rooms.” In Trump’s perspective, his help led to their detention abruptly ending and the players being allowed to leave their hotel and board a flight back home to California.

The controversy then rises to another level when Ball’s father, Lavar Ball, refused to say thank you  to President Trump for his work to get the UCLA players out of prison. During a CNN interview segment with journalist Chris Cuomo, the elder Ball gave a variety of motivations for not offering an official “thank you” to the president, but mostly noted that this was a situation where Trump just wanted a thank you from someone who wasn’t even involved in the situation, even though the players already apologize and thanked the President for having some type of impact of getting them back home.

However, after the CNN interview, Trump tweeted, “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 t in jail” This insensitive comment received more attention than his other tweets and caused people to continue to question the President’s ability to deal with contentious problems.

Since the Balls are a big media presence, it puts most of the focus on Liangelo Ball and not really Hill and Riley.  The main reason why the President wants a thank you from Lavar Ball is mainly due to the fact that if he did, his supporters will start supporting Trump. This exemplifies that this could benefit Trump for reelection by getting votes from individuals of the African-American community. With statistics showing a racial divide between those who support Trump and those who doesn’t, this situation could erase some of that by two simple words.

Trump has already received a thanks from the individuals who were involved. That should’ve been all it. The situation was blown out of proportion, and it should just be left alone because like Lavar said, “All this going on, and that’s on your mind, that a father didn’t say thank you and you head of the U.S.” This comment establishes that just because the Balls are the new Kardashians, Trump thinks that if Lavar thanks him, it will create a chain reaction of happiness for the President from people who probably didn’t support him at first. Trump just needs to set his priorities on North Korea and other problems. Trump worrying about a thank you solely illustrates that he isn’t qualified enough to fit in this difficult position of being the new face of the one of the best countries in the world.