Chamath Palihapitiya, a part-owner of the Warriors, recently said on a podcast that “nobody cares” about the Uyghur genocide in China.
“I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth,” Palihapitiya said during a debate with his co-hosts about human rights. “Of all the things that I care about, it is below my line.”
“You bring it up because you really care, and I think that’s nice that you care, the rest of us don’t care,” he told fellow host Jason Calacanis.
The NBA, which is one of China’s most popular sports leagues, has faced backlash in China as players have spoken out about human rights in the country. Most notably, when former Rockets GM Daryl Morey spoke out about it a few years ago, which rompted LeBron James to rip him for it. China has since stopped live broadcasts of Philadelphia 76ers games when Morey moved franchises. More recently, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter criticized the Chinese government over its treatment of the Uyghur people.
Palihapitiya added that Uyghurs aren’t a priority for him, unlike other issues such as US healthcare, infrastructure, and climate change.
“If you’re asking me, do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us,” Palihapitiya said.
In a statement shared by Marc J. Spears of The Undefeated, the Warriors made it clear that Palihapitiya does not speak for the franchise. They referred to him as “a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions” in the organization.
“As a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the Warriors, Mr. Palihapitiya does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization,” the team said.
Palihapitiya joined the investment group in purchasing the Golden State Warriors in 2010. He received a minority stake in the franchise.
Kanter slammed the part-owner in a tweet.