Whoopi Goldberg and her co-hosts on ABC’s “The View” expressed their astonishment Thursday at the fact that three UCLA freshmen basketball players were accused of shoplifting while on a team trip to China.
The players were arrested by Chinese police and only released this week after President Donald Trump asked Chinese President Xi Jinping to intercede. Goldberg said the players embarrassed Trump and the country, but credited the president for helping the players return to the U.S.
“You embarrassed your families, you embarrassed the country, and you embarrassed the president,” Goldberg said. “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.”
“If this isn’t the stupidest thing a young person has done, particularly if you’re over six-feet tall, and black—” she continued.
“You kinda stick out,” Sunny Hostin interjected.
“Is this just the ridiculous stupidity of youth?” Goldberg asked, recounting how they were detained for stealing items from a Louis Vuitton store in a foreign country without many black people.
“Now, you’re in China—you’re this big!” she said, reaching high into the air to indicate the players’ height. “It’s not like you’re gonna blend, you’re not going to blend in, run out.”
Goldberg said their families and mentors had no doubt told them numerous times not to do things like this. She also said the foolishness of youth is the only explanation for something so dumb.
“They should get suspended for a month,” Goldberg said.
“At least,” co-host Joy Behar added.
“I don’t think we should ever throw people out of school for stupidity. Most of us, I think have done some stupid stuff, but this?” Goldberg said.
Hostin explained how important it is for Americans, especially black Americans, to represent the country well.
“They caused an international incident where the president had to get involved. He call the president of another country,” Hostin said. “This is really significant.”
The hosts also discussed how the players could make amends by doing community service, and that the university should take the matter seriously. Whoopi Goldberg said the players should not be afforded too much mercy.
“You can embarrass the hell out of them,” Goldberg said. “What y’all did is as dumb as dumb can be.”