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Enes Kanter Freedom rips Warriors owner who said ‘nobody cares’ what’s happening to Uyghurs

Associated Press/Nick Wass

Enes Kanter Freedom, a center for the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) Boston Celtics, called out Golden State Warriors minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya for saying that “nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs” in China.

During an appearance on CNN’s “New Day,” Freedom, who has repeatedly spoken out against the Chinese government, told host John Berman that he was “very angry, disappointed, and disgusted” watching the video of Palihapitiya’s comments before the Celtics’ Monday night game. 

“First of all, what is happening to the Uyghurs is one of the worst murder abuses in the world today,” Freedom told Berman.

“And,” he added of Palihapitiya, “he claims that he’s standing up for things that are bigger than sports. It’s … it’s unbelievable.” 

The NBA has come under steady criticism for its business in China, which the Biden administration has sanctioned over its abuse of the predominately Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority. Sanctions imposed in December followed reports of suppression and human rights abuses by China against the Uyghurs.

During a Saturday appearance on the “All-In” podcast, Palihapitiya said he doesn’t care about those abuses. 

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, okay. You bring it up because you care and I think it’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care,” Palihapitiya said in remarks that gained attention on Monday, which was Martin Luther King Day.

“I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, yes, it is below my line,” he said. 

In a statement, the Warriors team condemned Palihapitiya’s comments, saying they do not have a place in the organization. 

“As a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the Warriors, Mr. Palihapitiya does not speak on the behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization,” the team said in a statement.

Freedom called the statement “pathetic,” saying the team was scared to mention the Uyghurs.

“They couldn’t even mention Uyghurs in their statement, because they are scared that they are going to lose a lot of money and business in China,” Freedom said. “It was pathetic, it was disgusting.”

Tags Boston Celtics Chamath Palihapitiya China China human rights violations Enes Kanter Freedom Golden State Warriors NBA Uyghur Muslims Uyghurs
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