Chamath Palihapitiya, a minority owner for the NBA's Golden State Warriors, told a podcast Saturday that "nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs," The Hill reported.
"Nobody cares about what's happening to the Uyghurs, OK? You bring it up because you care, and I think it's nice that you care. The rest of us don't care," Palihapitiya told "All-In," a podcast he co-hosts. "I'm just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line."
Palihapitiya, who is a Sri Lankan-born Canadian and American venture capitalist, said he cared more about domestic issues than the league's involvement in China. The NBA has come under steady criticism for its business in the country despite the ongoing human rights violations.
"I think that human rights in the United States is way more important to me than human rights anywhere else on the globe. And I think that we have an abysmal track record of taking care of colored men and women in this country, and so I have zero patience and tolerance for white men blathering on about shit that happens outside your own backyard," he continued.
"Fix your own inside backyard because you guys are the ones," Palihapitiya added, "you are uniquely in a position of power in a way the rest of us are not. And so, when you guys clean up the inside, then we can go and fix the outside."
In a statement posted to Twitter on Monday, Palihapitiya walked back his earlier remarks.
"As a refugee, my family fled a country with its own set of human right issues, so this is something that is very much a part of my lived experience," he wrote. "To be clear, my belief is that human rights matter, whether in China, the United States, or elsewhere. Full stop."
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