DHARAMSALA, 18 Jan: The Golden State Warriors team has distanced itself from its part-time owner over his damaging comment on Uighurs declaring that the limited investor does not speak on behalf of our franchise.
“As a limited investor who has no day-to-day operation 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,” read a statement issued by the US basketball team based in San Francisco.
The team issued the statement after Chamath Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist who owns 10% of the franchise said in a podcast that he co-hosts on Saturday that “nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs.”
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK? You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care,” Palihapitiya says to his co-host Jason Calacanis.
“I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line,” he adds.
The 45-year old landed in hot water over his comments as the rights groups and activists along with several governments across the world have called out China’s treatment of the Uighur Muslims as “genocide and crimes against humanity.”
Additionally, the development came as NBA veteran Enes Kanter Freedom continues his campaign against China’s ongoing violation of human rights.
Kanter, who was born in Switzerland and raised in Turkey has cautioned Palihapitiya on “Tucker Carlson Tonight and asked, “I want to ask him one question– If your mother, if your daughter, if your sister was in those concentration camps and get in torture and gang-raped every day, would you still think about money? Would you tell? Would you still remain silent?”
Besides, US Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas.) has also called out Palihapitiya in a tweet for his “shameful” remarks.
“NBA takes a bold stance: slavery doesn’t matter. concentration camps don’t matter. torture & murder doesn’t matter. ‘We don’t care,’” Cruz twitted.
“ALL that matters to them is more $$ from CCP so NBA millionaires & billionaires can get even richer,” he added.
After stoking controversy, Palihapitiya has put out a statement declaring that his comments lacked empathy.
“In re-listening to this week’s podcast, I recognize I come across as lacking empathy. I acknowledge that entirely,” the statement read.
“As a refugee, my family fled a country [Sri Lanka] with its own set of human rights issues, so this is something that is very much 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.”
In 2010, the venture capitalist chipped in $25 million to become one of the franchise’s co-owners with Joe Lacob, Peter Guber and others.
While the UN experts and activists say at least one million ethnic Uighurs and other Muslims are held in the detention centres in East Turkistan, Beijing maintains that the camps are voluntary education and training centres.
The US, UK, Dutch, Canada and several other countries have declared last year that China is committing genocide, the most heinous of crimes against Uighurs and other ethnic minorities.