Could an NBA investor’s comments about the Uyghurs box in Florida Democrats?
Chamath Palihapitiya. Image via AP

Chamath Palihapitiya
The Golden State Warriors part-owner donated to Val Demings, Charlie Crist, Nikki Fried and Darren Soto.

An NBA owner and hefty Democratic donor offered an out-of-bounds assessment of human rights violations in China. National Republicans responded with a full-court press on any politicians taking contributions from Golden State Warriors investor Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive. That’s a roster that includes U.S. Reps. Charlie Crist, Val Demings, and Darren Soto, as well as Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried.

The venture capitalist dismissed China’s alleged persecution of the Uyghurs in the Xinjiang province on his All-In Podcast, as reported by NPR.

“Nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs, OK?” he said. “You bring it up because you really care, and I think it’s nice that you really care. The rest of us don’t care. I’m just telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things I care about, yes, it’s below my line.”

Pushed on the issue by a co-host, Palihapitiya continued, “If you’re asking me do I care about a segment of a class of people in another country? Not until we can take care of ourselves will I prioritize them over us.”

Except many Florida political leaders care quite a bit.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, whom Demings is challenging, dedicated massive efforts this year to championing the Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act, which in December became law. The Chinese treatment of the ethnic group has prompted intense criticism from other Florida pols on both sides of the aisle.

Palihapitiya’s comments prompted the Warriors’ leadership to distance themselves, calling Palihapitiya — who owns 10% of the team — a “limited investor” who “does not speak on behalf of our franchise.” Now, Republicans say Democrats cashing his checks must do the same.

“Question for Val Demings, Darren Soto, Charlie Crist and Nikki Fried: Do you support the comments from Palihapitiya and his lack of concern for genocide?” said Republican National Committee spokesperson Julia Friedland. “To the Florida Democratic Party that took contributions from a man who openly says he doesn’t care about tortured groups: will you be returning the money?”

Crist and Fried both have filed to challenge Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ re-election, and national Republicans list Soto as a congressional target this year.

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • Colt Seavers

    January 19, 2022 at 8:44 am

    I dont feel it will be enough for Christ, Fried, and the rest of the leftist slave supporters to give the money back.
    Its gone too far for too long no way any of these slave masters get elected in Florida. Ain’t gonna happen. And the big reveal comes out right after MLK day.

    • Dw

      January 19, 2022 at 8:36 pm

      I do not know who the slaves are you are referring. Especially when over 49% of Americans are on some form of govt assistance.
      But I do know who the “so-called” masters are, and they are not leftists.

  • Dw

    January 19, 2022 at 8:30 pm

    Mark “take a sip of water” Rubio is the one who should be removed, not the other way around, and the US should stay out of other countries business until we fix our own problems,
    and we have a lot to fix

  • Tom

    January 19, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    This socialist is a despicable human, chamath Palihipiytia is a disgraceful ass. He’s totally a
    China Lover. The NBA has their nose up china’s funnel. He disparaged America and pretended to act as if China is superior. Kick him out of here. He can take any socialist with him he’d like. What a Fng a hole.

  • Tom

    January 20, 2022 at 8:22 am

    This guy is garbage. What a disgrace, typical liberal elite. An actual foreigner lecturing America on how we are no better then China. What a crock! Typical elite Dem thinking he knows better. NBA is consumed with socialists. This guy is an embarrassment, of course he gave to Nikki Fraud, Dum Dum Demings, others.
    He can go to hell!

Comments are closed.


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