President Donald Trump has continued his Twitter feud with the professional sports world, this time choosing to engage with media personality LaVar Ball and his son, LiAngelo Ball. LiAngelo Ball, who plays basketball at the University of California, Los Angeles, was one of the three team members arrested for shoplifting while the group was on a trip in China. Trump felt that he was responsible for the players’ release from China and spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about LiAngelo and the other two players’ ability to return to the United States. The president took to Twitter to voice his feeling that LaVar Ball did not give him enough credit for bringing home the athletes, criticizing Ball’s physical appearance along with his purposefully ungrateful response.
A number of NYU students responded to this recent Twitter controversy with reactions ranging from thoughtful opinions on the use of Twitter as a tool for debating topical issues to outrage at Trump’s use of social media in situations like this.
“I think that today’s technology gives the average individual a unique opportunity to engage in intellectual debates on a variety of topics with people who are in positions of expertise and influence. These debates can lead to thoughtful change and facilitate information sharing. I think that Twitter also gives individuals a platform to cause discourse and unproductive drama. I feel the discussions between Mr. Ball and President Trump fall into this latter category and the two of them would be far better suited pursuing more fruitful activities as clearly they both have much to do.”
— Gregory Suter, Stern senior
“Trump’s tweets are very telling in that they betray his inability to let anything go. Any slight, whether real or fictitious, must be swiftly discredited and attacked. But overall, the entire episode is just ridiculous. He craves attention and gratitude like an insecure middle schooler.”
— Peyton Deal, CAS sophomore
“To me, it’s complete and utter nonsense. The fact that our president is involved in something as meaningless as a Twitter feud instead of actually doing his job is extremely disappointing. There are literally 101 more important things Trump could be doing but this is what he picks. It’s very telling of where his priorities lie. In a word, it’s infuriating.”
— Michael Saguto, Tisch sophomore
“I think he should probably focus more on the country and less on feuding with a reality television star. And it’s a bit ridiculous that anyone can take him seriously when he does this type of thing.”
— Olivia Braender-Carr, Tandon senior
A version of this article appeared in the Monday, Nov. 27 print edition. Email Maddie Howard at [email protected]