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Warriors distance themselves from partial team owner after his comments about Uyghurs in China

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A callous comment by a Golden State Warriors partial owner forced the franchise to issue a statement distancing themselves from Chamath Palihapitiya, who said on a podcast, “Let’s be honest, nobody, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK.”

The Warriors moved quickly with a statement: “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.”

Palihapitiya appeared on the “All-In” pod hosted by Jason Calacanis. Palihapitiya is a billionaire investor who is the founder and CEO of Social Capital, a venture capital firm.

Uyghurs are a predominantly Muslim ethnic minority who live in what China calls the Xinjiang region in the northwest part of the country. China has been accused of human rights abuses against Uyghurs.

Golden State Warriors championship banners hang inside the arena on Nov. 26, 2021.
Golden State Warriors championship banners hang inside the arena on Nov. 26, 2021.

Amnesty International estimates at least 1 million Uyghurs have been arbitrarily detained in camps or prisons for what China calls its "transformation-through-education” effort in Xinjiang.

China has engaged in mass detention of more than 1 million Uyghurs and other minorities, and the government has subjected another 2 million people in Xinjiang to “re-education” training in less severe settings, according to the State Department.

With the Olympics next month in China, there will be increased attention on the treatment of Uyghurs.

The relationship between the NBA and China has been frayed since then-Houston Rockets general Daryl Morey tweeted an image that read ““Fight for Freedom, Stand with Hong Kong.” Morey deleted the tweet.

As a result, Chinese state-run TV stopped showing some NBA games, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league lost hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Golden State Warriors deflect comment from team investor about Uyghurs