Remember in high school when two of the “popular” kids had an issue with each other? But instead of just confronting each other directly, they would always just keep spouting nonsense behind the other’s back, which only served to keep the issue alive and resolved nothing. If you can recall hearing about a situation similar to this at some point in your teenage years, then you already know the gist of what has happened between President Donald Trump and Lavar Ball.
It started when Ball’s second-oldest son LiAngelo, a freshman basketball player for the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), and two of his teammates were arrested for shoplifting during a team trip to China. Facing several years in prison, eventually the players were released from custody and sent home to the states.
Where President Trump comes in is when he tweeted about the issue several times. He claimed to have spoken with Chinese President Xi Jinping about releasing them, and he wondered if the players would thank him. In addition, he advised them to be grateful for not being kept in custody and told them to thank President Jinping for their release.
Where things get messy is after that when Ball refused to give President Trump any credit for the release of his son or the other UCLA players. In response, President Trump took to twitter again, this time to say that he should have left the players in China and call out Ball for not recognizing the jail time that his son had faced.
First of all, we all should recognize that the only important thing here is the ongoing story with the UCLA players who were released. Their actions could not only hurt themselves individually, but their team as a whole for the rest of the season. Not to mention their university’s relationship with China and even the national relations between the United States and the Asian country. Currently, the three players involved in the shoplifting incident are suspended indefinitely from participating with the team in practice or games.
So knowing this, how should we respond to the story that has been created around these two? The answer is simple: ignore it. We all know that President Trump is fully capable of making headlines no matter what he says. In addition, since the moments his sons received any recognition for their talent, Lavar Ball has only tried to up-sell the sporting world on their talent. This story follows the pattern of behaviors set up by both of these men. President Trump is seeking acknowledgement for whatever amount of help he offered to the UCLA players. On the other hand, Ball may not be explicitly trying to grab the spotlight. But if he wanted the scrutiny surrounding his son to disappear, how much easier would it have been for him to have said something non-inflammatory in response to Trump’s comments? Both of these men are only talking about this topic to serve their own ego. And anyone who knows much about these two figures knows that a fatter head is not what either of these men need.