The Golden State Warriors PR team distances itself from the franchise from minority owner, Chamath Palihapitiya, after the billionaire bravely stated that "no one cares" about the Uighur genocide in China on Saturday.
In a statement, The NBA franchise called Palihapitiya a "limited investor" whose views do not reflect the team's.
While discussing politics on his show, the All-In Podcast, the 34-year-old venture capitalist repeatedly told his co-hosts that "No one cares about the Uighurs." Palihapitiya said he is concerned about many things, including inflation, US health infrastructure and climate change, but not the genocide China is accused of committing against the Muslim Uighurs.
"Nobody cares what happens to the Uighurs, okay. You take it up because you really care and I think it's nice that you really do care, the rest of us do not care," said Palihapitiya, who also is on the board. by Virgin Galactic. "I'm just telling you a very harsh, ugly truth. Of all the things I care about, yes, it's below my limit."
Co-host David Sacks tried to purify the air by arguing that people care, just not as much as other issues. Palihapitiya doubled.
"If you ask me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Only when we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us," he said.
Palihapitiya said the United States should "take care of our own backyard" before pointing the finger at other countries, citing ongoing criminal justice problems. He went on to describe human rights globally as a "luxury faith".
"To talk about what we have here that we need to fix and compare it to that ... these two things are not morally comparable, they are very far," said co-host Jason Calacanis back.
The audio bite blew up on social media and was seen millions of times on Monday. That was when the Golden State Warriors released a statement on Twitter in which they held Palihapitiya at arm's length.
Several hours later, Palihapitiya took over Twitter to try to "clarify" his remarks.
"When I re-listen to this week's podcast, I acknowledge that I'm going to lack empathy. I fully acknowledge that," he wrote. "As a refugee, my family fled a country with its own set of human rights issues, so this is something that is very much a part of my lived experience. To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, no matter what. whether it's in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Dot. "
Palihapitiya's comments again drew criticism of the NBA's relationship with China, especially from Republicans. Some say it is hypocrisy for players to kneel during the national anthem or have social justice slogans on their uniforms, while players support Chinese clothing lines, some made of cotton produced by Uighur forced labor.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz called on the NBA not to address issues that could affect the league's bottom line.
The NBA takes a bold stance:
- slavery does not matter.
- concentration camps do not matter
- Torture and murder do not matter
"We do not care."
EVERYTHING that matters to them is more $$ from the CCP so NBA millionaires and billionaires can get even richer.#Shame https://t.co/5h7PLhFLKT- Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) January 17, 2022
Boston Celtics star Enes' Edges Freedom also condemned Palihapitiya over the comments, saying people like him "sell their soul for money and business."
When genocide happens, it's people
like this to let it happen
Shame! pic.twitter.com/27j2GxGhCU- Enes Kanter FRIHED (@EnesFreedom) January 17, 2022
In October, Freedom called Chinese Communist Party leader Xi Jinping a "dictator" while speaking for a free Tibet. As a result, the Celtics' opening game was not broadcast in China, which is typically seen by millions, the NBA said.
And in 2019, then-Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey took to Twitter to show his support for protesters in Hong Kong. That move resulted in China temporarily taking NBA games out of the air, costing the league an estimated $ 400 million.