Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya has acknowledged lacking "empathy" after claiming "nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs."
The billionaire investor in a statement tried to clarify the controversial podcast comments, which have led the NBA team to distance itself from him. "In re-listening to this week's podcast, I recognize that I come across as lacking empathy," Palihapitiya said. "I acknowledge that entirely."
Palihapitiya has been under fire over the comments made on the All-In podcast during a discussion about President Biden signing a law requiring proof that imports from China's Xinjiang region weren't made with forced labor, according to CBS News. "Nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs, okay?" Palihapitiya said. "You bring it up because you really care, and I think that's nice that you care. The rest of us don't care. I'm telling you a very hard, ugly truth."
Last month, an independent tribunal said China has committed genocide against the Uyghurs, carrying out a "deliberate, systematic and concerted policy" to achieve "long-term reduction of Uyghur and other ethnic minority populations," BBC News reports. More than one million Uyghurs have been held in internment camps in Xinjiang.
Palihapitiya said in his statement on Twitter, "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."
The Golden State Warriors distanced themselves from Palihapitiya, calling him a "limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with" the team and saying he "does not speak or behalf of our franchise." The team added, "His views certainly don't reflect those of our organization.'
Boston Celtics' Enes Kanter Freedom was among those to call out Palihapitiya, tweeting, "When genocides happen, it is people
like this that let it happen."