Whoopi Goldberg recently unleashed a torrent of withering scorn on the three UCLA basketball players who were arrested for shoplifting in China.
Speaking on “The View,” Goldberg showed a rare moment of alignment with the views of President Donald Trump as she castigated the players for embarrassing their nation.
The three players, LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley and Jalen Hill were arrested on Nov. 8, and accused of stealing designer sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store. They were detained for several days before being allowed to fly home to the U.S. Their arrest came as Trump was arriving in Beijing for his Asian tour. Trump said he contacted Chinese President Xi Jinping to arrange the players’ release.
Trump has said that the players were fortunate he could intercede for them, because shoplifting is a serious crime.
…LaVar, you could have spent the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
“… LaVar, you could have spend the next 5 to 10 years during Thanksgiving with your son in China, but no NBA contract to support you. But remember LaVar, shoplifting is NOT a little thing. It’s a really big deal, especially in China. Ungrateful fool!” Trump tweeted Wednesday.
Since the players returned home, LaVar Ball, father of shoplifting basketball player LiAngelo Ball, has downplayed any role Trump had in his son’s release.
“Did he help the boys get out? I don’t know. … If I was going to thank somebody I’d probably thank President Xi (Jinping),” Ball told CNN Monday.
As Independent Journal Review reported, Goldberg focused her remarks on the conduct of the players.
“You embarrassed your families, you embarrassed the country, and you embarrassed the president. Now I’m not a big fan of the president, but the fact that he had to call and get your asses out of there is not anything to be proud of or think is cool,” she said.
Goldberg said that it was ludicrous to think that the players’ actions would have gone unnoticed.
“If this isn’t the stupidest thing a young person has done, particularly if you’re over six-feet tall, and black,” she said.
“You kinda stick out,” host Sunny Hostin said, interrupting Goldberg.
“Is this just the ridiculous stupidity of youth?” Goldberg asked.
“Now, you’re in China — you’re this big!” she said, gesturing to indicate the players’ height. “It’s not like you’re gonna blend, you’re not going to blend in, run out.”
Goldberg said the penalty for the UCLA freshmen should be harsh.
“They should get suspended for a month,” Goldberg said.
“At least,” co-host Joy Behar said.
UCLA later said that the players would be suspended indefinitely, The New York Times.
“I don’t think we should ever throw people out of school for stupidity, because most of us, I think have done some stupid stuff, but this?” Goldberg said.
Hostin said that the incident was not simply small stuff.
“They caused an international incident where the president had to get involved and call the president of another country,” Hostin said. “This is really significant.”
Goldberg said that whatever UCLA decides to do, some humiliating form of community service would not be too high a price to pay.
“You can embarrass the hell out of them,” Goldberg said. “What y’all did is as dumb as dumb can be.”