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Warriors Distance From Co-Owner Chamath Palihapitiya After Comments About Uyghurs

The Warriors released a statement on Monday pertaining to minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya’s dismissive of the genocide against the Uyghur Muslim minority population in China’s Xinjiang region.

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK?” Palihapitiya said during an appearance on the All-In Podcast, which he co-hosts. “... I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK, of all the things that I care about, yes it is below my line.” 

Fellow co-host Jason Calacanis mentioned the Uyghurs in a broader conversation about the United State’s role in international affairs and presidential politics. Palihapitiya proceeded to say concerns over international human rights issues is a “luxury belief.”

“I care about the fact that our economy could turn on a dime if China invades Taiwan,” Palihapitiya continued. “I care about climate change. I care about America’s crippling and decrepit health-care infrastructure.

“But 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.”

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Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom called out the investor for his comments, tweeting “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 who says ‘Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs.’ When genocides happen, it is people like this that let it happen. Shame!”

The Warriors quickly released a statement saying his comments are not representative of the team.

“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.”

Palihapitiya later backtracked his comments on Monday evening, writing in a statement that “I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy. I acknowledge that entirely. 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, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Full stop.” 

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