Chamath Palihapitiya, the billionaire investor and minority owner of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, has responded to critics over the comments he made yesterday that nobody cares about China’s treatment of the Uyghur minority group.
Speaking on the podcast “All-In,” Chamath said, “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs.” “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all of the things that I care about, I’d say it is below my line,” he said.
Important issues deserve nuanced discussions. Some clarifying comments: pic.twitter.com/St2jccsu05— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 18, 2022
In his response to the criticism, he later tweeted: “In re-listening to this week’s podcast, I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy. To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States or elsewhere.”
The well-known investor, who also owns a minority stake in the NBA team Warriors, has 1.5M followers on Twitter and often uses social media to challenge traditional finance.
The reaction from Warriors was quick and swift. In a statement released Monday, they said, “Mr. Palihapitiya does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization.”
According to Warriors, Chamath is a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the team.
Chamath’s comments drew strong reactions on Twitter. Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom wrote, “When NBA says we stand for justice, don’t forget there are those who sell their soul for money & business like Chamath the owner of Warriors.”
Mr. Kanter is an advocat for minorities in China. Last year he led a rally in Washington, D.C., urging U.S. lawmakers to support the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which prevents companies from importing products that are made with forced labor in the Xinjiang area, or from entities associated with the government of the region.
Researchers have repeatedly stated that China’s government has detained hundreds of thousands of people from its Muslim minority in internment camps as part of an assimilation campaign.
U.S. government officials, along with lawmakers from other Western countries and some human-rights activists, have said Beijing’s treatment of mostly Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region amounts to a form of genocide. China strongly disputes this allegation.