Shannon Sharpe of Fox Sports 1 now says that he understands why President Trump referred to businessman and basketball personality LaVar Ball as “ungrateful.”
Mr. Sharpe and his fellow hosts on Fox’s “Undisputed” were in agreement Tuesday that Mr. Trump should receive thanks for freeing three UCLA basketball players who were arrested in China on shoplifting charges.
Mr. Sharpe, a regular Trump critic, led the way by blasting a “disingenuous” interview LaVar Ball gave with CNN on Monday night, in which he claimed efforts to free his son LiAngelo were unworthy of thanks.
“If I was going to thank somebody I was going to thank President Xi,” Mr. Ball told Chris Cuomo.
Mr. Sharpe, a former NFL star, said the father’s performance was “the dumbest thing” he’s seen throughout the ordeal.
“We speak very highly of LaVar, but that was the dumbest thing he ever could have said,” Mr. Sharpe said, the Washington Free Beacon reported. “The president of the United States did not go visit his son in jail, so therefore he’s not going to say thank you? … I can assure you President Trump mentioning [this] to the Chinese president didn’t hurt his situation.”
The sports analyst noted that all three students — LiAngelo, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill — thanked Mr. Trump instead of Mr. Ball.
“I see why President Trump used the word ‘ungrateful,’” he added. “Let me tell you how I am. I help somebody get a job. He ain’t help me get no job. He ain’t do nothing for me. The first thing I would say? ‘Ungrateful you-know-what. I bet I won’t help your ungrateful you-know-what again.’”
Mr. Trump exploded on social media over the weekend after hearing of the elder Ball’s reactions to his diplomatic efforts.
“Shoplifting is a very big deal in China, as it should be (5-10 years in jail), but not to father LaVar,” the president tweeted Sunday. “Should have gotten his son out during my next trip to China instead. China told them why they were released. Very ungrateful!”
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