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Mom of Ex-Football Player Jailed in China to LaVar Ball: 'Grow Up and Be a Man'

(Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now")

By    |   Wednesday, 22 November 2017 11:16 AM

The heartsick mother of a former star football player jailed in China has lashed out at LaVar Ball, the father of one of three UCLA basketball players just freed from the communist nation, saying Ball is an ingrate for refusing to praise President Donald Trump with helping with their release.

"My reaction is, this man must seek attention," Antoinette Brown told Bill Tucker and Nan Hayworth on Tuesday on Newsmax TV's "Newsmax Now." "He can't say our president did not play a role in helping those young men get released after clearly committing a crime in China.

"Just being thankful that the president did step up for them and release them because things could be a lot worse. They could be going through what I'm going through with my son being clearly innocent and still detained. It's just sad."

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And she said she hopes Trump will now help get her son Wendell out of the Chinese jail cell where he has been languishing for 14 months.

Last week, UCLA basketball players LiAngelo Ball, Cody Riley, and Jalen Hill, were arrested on suspicion of stealing sunglasses from a Louis Vuitton store while their team was in the Chinese city of Hangzhou and were facing years behind bars.

But they were freed after Trump said he personally asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to let them go — a claim being hotly disputed by Ball's dad, who told ESPN, "Who? . . . Everybody wants to make it seem like he helped me out . . .

"Like I told [my son], 'They try to make a big deal out of nothing sometimes.' I'm from L.A. I've seen a lot worse things happen than a guy taking some glasses."

That ignited a Twitter war in which Trump exploded at Ball's lack of gratitude, and raged he should have left the players in jail.

Trump continued his tweeting storm on the matter Wednesday morning.

Brown told Newsmax TV she has been blindsided by Ball's statements because his son is free, while her son languishes in jail on a separate case.

Wendell Brown, 30, a former Ball State University linebacker and ex-player with the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, was coaching football and teaching English in China in 2015 when he was arrested in a bar brawl.

Charged with hitting a man, Brown has now been in jail for 14 months as his mother and other family members unsuccessfully try to get him home. A lawyer has told the family China wants $100,000 in restitution to make the case go away — an amount unfathomable to them, Yahoo! Sports reports.

"Wendell did not hit anyone," Brown told Newsmax TV. "He was falsely accused . . . The accuser was truthful, and let it be known that Wendell did not hit him . . . His lawyers did an amazing job proving his innocence and still, Wendell is detained.

"But from what I'm understanding, in China, there's such a thing as save face, and the accuser is highly connected in the government.

"This is why this has not been resolved, because he felt like Wendell disrespected him in front of his group of friends by declining to take a picture with them or drink with them, and they all start throwing bottles at Wendell. He defended himself by throwing his hands up to block the multiple bottles being thrown."

So far, the State Department has been unable to get action.

"My son is a good young man," Brown said. "He was in China teaching football and English to the Asians that were on the team, and he was not there to harm anyone.

"He's a professional man, he has a degree in criminal justice. Why would he go there and be a criminal?"

She urged Trump to step in and take charge of her son's case.

"I would think the president could possibly help as far as like when he helped with the other young men," she said. "We need someone in our government to step up and stand up for Wendell."

She also addressed LaVar Ball's attitude toward Trump, saying, "That's foolish because shoplifting is a big deal, even in our own country, so I don't know why he would think that that's nothing or deserves a slap on the wrist.

"Their laws are different than the U.S. laws . . . so he needs to grow up and be a man and realize and talk to his sons about stealing because that is a crime whereever he is."

Ball has denied being in a feud with Trump, but he repeatedly refused to offer a "thank you" to him during an appearance on CNN.

He also told CNN, "I say thank you when I see something . . . If you help, you shouldn't have to say anything. Let [Trump] do his political affairs, and let me handle my son, and let's just stay in our lane."

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LaVar Ball, the father of one of three the UCLA basketball players just freed the Communist nation, is an ingrate for refusing to praise President Donald Trump, a heartsick mother of a former star football player currently jailed in China told Newsmax TV.
lavar ball, son, jailed, china, ingrate
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 11:16 AM
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