Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO of Social Capital, presents during the 2018 Sohn Investment Conference in New York.
Chamath Palihapitiya said “nobody cares about what’s happening” to Uyghur Muslims in China.
Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist and co-owner of the Warriors, made the comments on the “All-In” podcast.
“Of all the things that I care about, it is below my line,” he said.
Venture capitalist and NBA team co-owner Chamath Palihapitiya said during an episode of the “All-In” podcast that “nobody cares about what’s happening” to Uyghur Muslims in China.
“I’m telling you a very hard ugly truth,” Palihapitiya said during a debate with his co-hosts about human rights. “Of all the things that I care about, it is below my line.”
Palihapitiya is the founder and CEO of Social Capital and part owner of the Golden State Warriors.
“You bring it up because you really care, and I think that’s nice that you care, the rest of us don’t care,” he told fellow host Jason Calacanis.
Human Rights Watch has estimated that Chinese authorities have detained as many as one million Uyghur Muslims in “re-education” camps where they’ve been subjected to human-rights abuses.
China has denied all allegations of abuse against the Uyghur population.
The NBA, which is one of China’s most popular sports leagues, has faced backlash in China as players have spoken out about human rights in the country.
In 2019, the former general manager of the Houston Rockets, Daryl Morey, tweeted support for protesters in Hong Kong, and the team was written off by Chinese streaming giant Tencent, which also stopped live broadcasts of Philadelphia 76ers games when Morey moved franchises. More recently, Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter criticized the Chinese government over its treatment of the Uyghur people.
Palihapitiya, during the 1 1/2 hour podcast, said the Uyghurs aren’t a priority for him, unlike other issues such as US healthcare, infrastructure, and climate change.
“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,” Palihapitiya said.
He pointed to the number of Black and brown men who are incarcerated in the US each year over “absolutely ridiculous crimes.” Black Americans are incarcerated in US state prisons at nearly five times the rate of whites, and Latinx people are 1.3 times as likely to be incarcerated than non-Latinx whites, according to The Sentencing Project, an advocacy group.
“Human rights in the US is way more important to me than human rights anywhere else on the globe,” said Palihapitiya, who said he is from Sri Lanka, but feels a responsibility to fix the issues of the country that adopted him.
Palihapitiya during the podcast also questioned whether the Chinese Communist Party could be considered a dictatorship, and said he wouldn’t be an “armchair journalist” on the topic of the Uyghurs.
“I just don’t know,” he said.
The Warriors said in a statement published on Twitter: “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 organizition.”
Insider reached out to Social Capital for a comment from Palihapitiya.
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