The National Basketball Association found itself in a China-linked controversy once again after serial deal maker Chamath Palihapitiya, a part owner of the Golden State Warriors, dismissed concerns over human rights abuses facing the Uygur minority in China. “Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uygurs, OK?” the Sri Lankan-born investor said during an episode of the “All-In” podcast, reacting to a comment from co-host Jason Calacanis about the Biden administration’s “very strong” stance on the issue. “I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth, OK? Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line,” Palihapitiya continued, as Calacanis reacted with palpable surprise. He also called human rights a “luxury belief”. Owner of the @warriors 🏀 says he doesn’t care about the Uyghurs. The conversation goes downhill from there. @chamath … - questions whether a genocide is actually happening - says the CCP isn’t a dictatorship - says the US is no better than the CCP pic.twitter.com/qAwi7hUPvo — Michael Sobolik (@michaelsobolik) January 17, 2022 The Warriors said in a statement that Palihapitiya’s views, which he aired on January 15, did not reflect those of the team. Palihapitiya later wrote in a statement that upon re-listening to the interview he recognised that he “came across as lacking empathy”. As part of a refugee family, he said “human rights matter” anywhere in the world. But as video of the exchange circulated on social media, Palihapitiya’s comments drew sharp rebuke. Many zeroed in on his role as a minority owner of the Warriors and on the NBA’s already delicate relationship with China. In 2019, a tweet from then Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey in support of Hong Kong’s protest movement provoked a massive backlash in China. Since then, teams and players including LeBron James have been closely scrutinised for their stances on China. More recently, China shut off Boston Celtics games after player Enes Kanter Freedom criticised the country’s human rights record on the predominately Muslim Uygurs, as well as Tibet and Hong Kong. Palihapitiya, 45, whose family fled Sri Lanka for Canada when he was a child, is no stranger to controversy. He has built a large following on social media, particularly among a certain type of gung-ho retail investor. He has criticised hedge funds while simultaneously praising Redditors/ WallStreetBets ’ financial abilities, even as he launched multiple SPACs that have since seen their shares collapse.