(National Sentinel) Ungrateful: Former New York Jets player LaVar Bell has been all over sports media disparaging President Donald J. Trump in claiming that he had little to do with getting his son, UCLA basketball star LiAngelo Ball — one of three players arrested for shoplifting while in China — released.
Bell has said that the president had little to do with getting his son and the other two players released but on Wednesday Trump left little doubt about who was instrumental in convincing the Chinese government to relinquish the players.
“It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence – IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think,” Trump tweeted.
He then followed that up with: “LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!”
Ball has disputed most everything the president has said regarding the release of his son and his two teammates, all of whom have thanked the president profusely.
The attitude of the former Jets player miffed former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“I think it’s a sad commentary on what’s happened to America when a father being told that his son was shoplifting in China isn’t really angry at his son,” Gingrich said Tuesday on Fox News‘ “Hannity” program.
“He ought to be grateful to the president, because his son could have been in really deep trouble,” he said.
“I’m embarrassed for that father that he didn’t have the decency to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. President. I’ve got to talk to my kid,’” Gingrich said. “I just think this is a sign of what’s sick about America, that people don’t take responsibility, they don’t take accountability.”
He also noted that a future NBA player who is caught in a foreign country stealing sunglasses is also an embarrassment.
“People should be pretty irritated that these guys who have a privileged life, have a privileged future, have the chance for a multi-million dollar career in the NBA are out here embarrassing America, looking stupid and doing something that’s totally dumb,” Gingrich said.
Nevertheless, Ball stood by his refusal to thank Trump.
“Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know. … If I was going to thank somebody I’d probably thank President Xi (Jinping),” Ball told CNN’s Chris Cuomo.
He also claimed he had “people on the ground” in China who got his son released.
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“I helped my son get out … of China. I had some people who had boots on the ground that knew the situation when we first jumped on it.”
“I say thank you when I see something. I don’t thank you just ‘cause it’s people talking and saying I did this, I did that,” he said.
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