When American athletes are chosen to compete in other countries, they’re representing the United States, and almost all of them are extremely careful to show respect and class when traveling abroad.
Unfortunately, sometimes there’s a few who misbehave, usually completely unaware of the severe consequences that can be handed out for crimes in foreign countries.
This was the case for the three UCLA basketball players, Jalen Hill, Cody Riley, and LiAngelo Ball, who were arrested for shoplifting in China, and were facing up to a decade in Chinese prison, until President Trump stepped in.
The three misguided athletes were arrested for allegedly stealing sunglasses from the Louis Vuitton store in Hangzhou, which was near the hotel where the team was staying.
During President Trump’s highly successful 13-day, 5-nation tour of Asia, he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping, urging him to release the American athletes, who were being held under house-arrest in their hotel.
After China released the basketball players, President Trump made sure they knew who was behind their release, and jokingly called them out in a Wednesday morning tweet.
Do you think the three UCLA Basketball Players will say thank you President Trump? They were headed for 10 years in jail!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2017
The three athletes have all since issued statements thanking President Trump.
“To President Trump and the United States government, thank you for taking the time to intervene on our behalf, we really appreciate you helping us out,” said Cody Riley, who also said that he knew he had “let the whole country down,” and took full responsibility for his actions.
“I would like to thank President Trump and the United States government for the help that they’ve provided as well,” added LiAngelo Ball, with Jalen Hill also saying, “Thank you to the United States government and President Trump for your efforts to bring us home.”
All three players have been suspended indefinitely by the UCLA, with statements saying that they will have to “earn their way back” to the team, and hopefully these three have learned a valuable lesson for life!