Golden State Warriors minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya says “nobody cares” about the Uyghurs and their plight in the far-western region of China. Chamath made the comments on his “All In” podcast alongside his co-hosts. This was not a “gotcha” style interview. Chinese mistreatment of the Uyghur minority is an international human rights issue that gets conveniently ignored depending on the circumstances. Other civil and/or human rights issues that are of a clearly lesser significance, however, often get lifted on a pedestal.
The Uyghur population in China is essentially being wiped away by the Chinese Government. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are being killed, although that does happen. This is more of a cultural genocide. Their language, religion (Islam), and values are often being forcibly stripped away from them. Protests against what the Chinese Government are doing to the Uyghur minority often feature a phrase that reads something along the lines of “free East Turkestan” which is another name for the area. This part of China is an extreme western province that borders Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Kyrgyzstan. There are all obviously Islamic countries. China does not want religion of any sort to seep into its borders, especially not Islam. So the Uyghur minority poses a serious threat.
The NBA has been vocal about other social issues. After the league resumed after the virus first popped up on the scene, Black Lives Matter had a presence stronger than any sponsor ever had. All games during the 2020-2021 season were played in Orlando, Florida in what was called “the bubble”. The basketball court itself featured “Black Lives Matter” emblazoned on the basketball court. Players were allowed to wear jerseys with the social justice mantra of their choosing on the back. Chamath may not be a fan of BLM either, but he dare not say that. He dare not risk ruining his finances due to drawing the ire of the political left or his Golden State Warriors employees. This is probably the same reason why he blows off any question of Uyghur mistreatment.
China is the largest market for the NBA. The United States has traditionally been the most lucrative due to its population size and wealth. But China is closing in on the U.S. as far as wealth and the population numbers aren’t close. China has about 1.3 billion people compared to the United States’ 350 million. The numbers are simply in China’s favor. And everyone knows that if an executive or other high-ranking person of an organization says something against the CCP, there are dire consequences. The Chinese do not necessarily threaten foreign people who insult them with violence, but they do wage economic warfare. If the NBA wants Chinese money, then they will shut up play ball.
NBA dragged into China controversy after Golden State Warriors’ co-owner says ‘nobody cares’ about Uygurs | South China Morning Post
All-In with Chamath, Jason, Sacks & Friedberg
‘Nobody cares about the Uyghurs’ lands Warriors minority owner in hot water : NPR
NBA: Warriors disavow co-owner’s Uyghur commentary
Chamath Palihapitiya says ‘nobody cares’ about Uyghur genocide in China
Golden State Warriors distance themselves from team investor who said: ‘Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs’ – CNN
N.B.A.’s Warriors Disavow Part-Owner’s Uyghur Comments – The New York Times