The NBA has repeatedly made it clear through its actions that it does not care about genocide in China nearly as much as it cares about “social justice” movements in the United States.
On Monday, Golden State Warriors co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya made his position on the Uyghur genocide known, and Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom rightfully ripped him for it.
Palihapitiya made his wildly insensitive comments on a podcast, Fox News reported.
“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK?” 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. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line.”
In December, CNN said the U.S. State Department estimated as many as two million Uyghurs were forced into “a sprawling network of detention centers across Xinjiang, where former detainees allege they were subjected to intense political indoctrination, forced labor, torture and even sexual abuse.”
The federal government has officially accused China of genocide and other humanitarian crimes in its Xinjiang province, but that apparently is not enough to concern a business tycoon like Palihapitiya.
According to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, Palihapitiya is also a significant donor to the Democratic Party. Carlson called him “a repulsive human being.”
Should Palihapitiya face punishment from the NBA for these comments?
Freedom, who lived under a repressive regime himself in Turkey, has been an outspoken critic of the NBA for its ignorance of the situation in China.
He became a U.S. citizen last year and changed his name in the process to celebrate achieving his American dream. However, Freedom understands not everyone enjoys this liberty, and he has continued to work towards ending repression around the world.
During his appearance on Fox News on Monday night, he told Carlson how shocked he was to hear Palihapitiya’s comments.
“I remember we had a game today at 12:30, and my manager texted me this video right before the game, and first of all, I couldn’t believe it,” Freedom said. “I was very angry, very disgusted and very disappointed.”
Freedom said he had trouble focusing during the Celtics’ Monday afternoon game against the New Orleans Pelicans because he was so disgusted by the comments.
“I mean, you look at the Uyghur people, what’s happened to the Uyghurs is one of the worst human rights abuses in the world today, and there is a genocide happening while we are talking right now,” Freedom said.
“And him going out there and saying, ‘I could care less,’ it’s a shame, and it is disgusting.”
Of course, Palihapitiya has been an outspoken proponent of the Black Lives Matter movement in America. In June 2020, he wrote on Twitter that the word “blacklist” was racist, and he didn’t appear to be joking.
This is racist. pic.twitter.com/nvSeGOfTdS
— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) June 13, 2020
While fighting such important battles to cancel words that have nothing to do with race, Palihapitiya couldn’t possibly be bothered to worry about actual genocide in China. Isn’t that logical?
The Golden State Warriors issued a statement Monday attempting to distance the organization from Palihapitiya.
“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.”
Warriors statement re: Chamath Palihapitiya: pic.twitter.com/zUl6i9sOve
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) January 17, 2022
Even in that statement, the Warriors did not even include the words “Uyghur” or “genocide,” probably for fear of backlash from China — with whom the NBA routinely partners.
Palihapitiya issued a statement of his own explaining that he was not being insensitive because he was actually a victim himself, which is supposed to devolve him of all responsibility in the eyes of left.
Important issues deserve nuanced discussions. Some clarifying comments: pic.twitter.com/St2jccsu05
— Chamath Palihapitiya (@chamath) January 18, 2022
Neither of these half-baked statements change the disgusting nature of Palihapitiya’s comments. He clearly demonstrated he cares more about manufactured “social justice” causes than he cares about genocide worldwide, and this view is sadly not exclusive to him within the NBA.
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