Friday, November 24, 2017

LaVar Ball: Ass-Clown of the Year



The arrest of three UCLA basketball players in Hangzhou for shoplifting early this month was shameful enough. But it’s the reaction to the event by LaVar Ball, father of one of the players, that takes the cake for clueless. I nominate him Ass-Clown of 2017.

The debate over whether the man should thank the US president for getting his son out of ten years jail time in China is one thing. Of course he should thank him. He’s a moron for not doing so. But it’s not just that. What most people are forgetting in all this is any sense of what it means to be part of a nation, part of the United States.

China is our main global competitor at present. The shoplifting by these so-called "students" (I’ll use the scare quotes because I don’t think athletic scholarships should even be a thing) was of course widely reported in the Chinese press. Think about that for a moment. Given China's population of 1.4 billion, that means hundreds of millions of Chinese, catching this event in the news, were confirmed in their prejudice that America people of color are troublemakers and losers. Good job for you son there, LaVar.

LaVar said he would have thanked President Trump if he’d flown his kid home on Air Force One . “There’s a lot of room on that plane,” he said on CNN. Uh-huh. Does the man really have no idea what it means for national leaders to visit another country? Imagine how it would have played in Chinese media if our president, after getting them bailed out for their criminal behavior, had actually then flown these entitled "student" morons home in the presidential jet. Imagine the message it would convey, how the Chinese media would use it to dis American common sense in general and the sense of America’s leader in particular.

Rather than being a smart ass on national TV, LaVar Ball should be ashamed. The man's son, as a youth representative of the US, disgraced tens of millions of Americans in front of literally hundreds of million Chinese. And yes, he and his two teammates disgraced people of color. I don’t know why more black Americans, in particular, aren’t calling Ball out on his cluelessness. This “father” thinks his son stealing is no big deal; and the Chinese, reading the reports, will naturally assume this to be typical of how American blacks think.

That CNN treated LaVar Ball with anything but utter contempt tells you something about CNN. Not thanking your country’s president for saving your son’s future? Shoplifting “ain’t that big a deal"? Yeah, I myself don’t give much of a damn about ball players. But as for this ex-ball player and father, I wouldn't waste my spit on the man’s face.

My novel A Taipei Mutt is now in print. The Asian capital unmuzzled.

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