By now, you may have heard about LaVarr Ball's feud with President Trump. Ball, whose son Lonzo plays for the Los Angeles Lakers, spent a good chunk of his interview with CNN's Chris Cuomo disputing the idea that Trump was the one responsible for his other son, LiAngelo's safe return to the U.S. after he was caught shoplifting in China.
In the interview, Ball explains, "I don't have to go around saying 'thank you' to everybody. He didn't call me. I didn't shake his hand. He didn't have to say nothing, but I'm just saying. I have to know what somebody is doing before I say 'thank you.' I'm not just going to go around saying thank you."
Ball and Cuomo argued back and forth for about 20 minutes over the role Trump played in freeing LiAngelo and two of his fellow UCLA basketball players, but Ball was insistent that the president's intervention had little to do with his son's freedom, saying, "I don't have — no doubts about what he did. I got doubts about what he didn't do."
At that point, Trump supporters became angry with Ball and took to Twitter to heckle him online. The issue there, however, is that instead of trolling LaVar Ball, they targeted Star Trek actor and Reading Rainbow bibliophile LeVar Burton.
@levarburton You're a has been actor with a thief for a son and Trump is the president of the United States. Get the picture?— markconte (@proseman) November 21, 2017
Washed up actor - Check
Son caught stealing in China - Check
Trump still president - Check
But none of that is true huh?... lol— Lil Popsicle (@Lil_Popsicle) November 21, 2017
Remember when @levarburton encouraged my children to read? Well he's dead to me now with his shoplifting kid and sneakers made in Mexico— WiffleBall1 (@WiffleBall1) November 22, 2017
@levarburton you sure don’t do much for the black cause with your unlawful ungrateful parenting skills.— Steven Epps (@Steven_L_Epps) November 20, 2017
The irony of the situation was not lost on many, who noted that Burton's famed literacy show could come in handy for those who confused the men with the same (differently spelled) first name.
Burton himself even responded to a piece of his undeserved hate mail, taking the confusion in stride.
But you don't have to take his word for it — his Star Trek castmate, Brent Spiner also weighed in with some good (sarcastic) advice:
If you cared about our President, you’d change your name.— Brent Spiner (@BrentSpiner) November 21, 2017
Not one to ever sit on the sidelines during a good Twitter war, Trump shared his thoughts on his role in LiAngelo's return from Chinese authorities, calling LaVar "a poor man's version of Don King" and an "ungrateful fool." Unlike his supporters, Trump threw his shade at the right LaVar.
It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2017
...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
In the meantime, we expect Burton will probably continue to ward off his undeserved criticism, while vowing to never give up on championing literacy.