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UCLA Players Suspended, Scolded by Trump - Carlos Gamino
News from Attorney Carlos Gamino

UCLA Players Suspended, Scolded by Trump

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By Carlos Gamino

Three freshman basketball players from UCLA were suspended indefinitely in mid-November after a kerfuffle in China, where the three men were arrested for shoplifting from three different stores.

The players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hall, created an international incident with their actions. Eventually, President Donald J. Trump had to step in and talk to his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, to help get them off the hook.

And then Trump asked for a thank-you.

The president tweeted, “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!”

After the tweet, each man thanked the president.

The three men were accused of stealing Louis Vuitton sunglasses from a store near the team’s hotel in Hangzhou, where they were staying for a week to play a game in Shanghai against Georgia Tech. They were released from detention in time to make the game, but Coach Steve Alford benched them. 

Many critics are calling for UCLA to suspend them from the rest of the season. LA Times columnist Bill Plaschke wrote, “If the three students had any sort of involvement in something so appallingly entitled and dumb while on a school trip to a foreign country, UCLA’s next move should be clear. School authorities should say welcome home, and see you next season.”

ESPN’s Seth Greenberg said something very similar. “We’re talking about kids? I don’t care about ‘kids’! You’re taking your team to another country, a different culture, they steal things in three different stores, allegedly. To me, that’s egregious. They should not be able to play this year. This is an embarrassment,” Greenberg said.

What Do You Think?

Do you think UCLA should suspend the three players for the entire season, kick them off the team, or give them a slap on the wrist? I’d love to hear your opinion on this, so please leave a comment on my Facebook page or on Twitter!

Carlos Gamino