SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- The Golden State Warriors issued a statement Monday, distancing themselves from controversial comments made by minority investor Chamath Palihapitiya concerning the ongoing struggle of the Muslim Uyghurs in China.
On his podcast, Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist who owns 2% of the Warriors according to NBA sources, commented on a bill President Joe Biden signed in December that bans imports from the Xinjiang region of China unless there is proof they were not made by forced labor.
China had been accused of detaining more than a million Turkic Muslim Uyghurs in the region as part of a campaign to wipe out their traditional culture, language and beliefs.
"Let's be honest, nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs," Palihapitiya said in a conversation with co-host Jason Calacanis. "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, it is below my line."
Palihapitiya's comments have triggered a wave of harsh criticism on social media including from NBA standout Enes Kanter Freedom, who added Freedom to his name after becoming a U.S. citizen last year. Kanter Freedom has been critical of the human rights policies of the government in his native Turkey for years.
"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," he tweeted.
On Monday, the Warriors issued a statement that read: "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."
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