In early November, three college basketball players from UCLA were detained in China after being accused of shoplifting. Freshman players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill reportedly stole from a Louis Vuitton store and were forced to be held in the country.
However, after President Donald Trump’s intervention, the three men were returned home to be with friends and family on Tuesday, November 14th.
On Wednesday morning, President Trump asked via Twitter, “Do you think the three UCLA Basketball will say thank you President Trump?” Additionally, he pointed out that they could have served 10 years in a foreign jail. His tweet became controversial, upsetting liberals because he "demanded thanks."
Later the same day, the three UCLA players made public statements, admitting to and apologizing for their actions. Additionally, they expressed their gratitude to the Chinese government for treating them with respect and did thank President Trump for bringing them home safely.
Bell said, “I’m going to make myself a better person from here on out...I would like to thank [Chinese police] for treating me so respectfully even after I made a stupid decision...I would also like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help they provided, as well.”
Another player stated, “To President Trump and the United States government—thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf.”
Watch the videos below to hear their full statements:
Following their statements, the UCLA basketball coach announced that the three players will remain “suspended indefinitely,” but will have the opportunity to work up to being back on the team over time.
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