By M.D. Kittle
MADISON — If the NBA wants to show it’s not subservient to China’s oppressive communist regime, Golden State Warriors minority owner Chamath Palihapitiya’s flippant comments about genocide inside China probably didn’t help.
And we’ll have to see what Milwaukee Bucks executive and Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alex Lasry plans to do with Palihapitiya’s $2,900 campaign contribution.
Palihapitiya, a venture capitalist who owns 2 percent of the Warriors, sounded coldly indifferent to the suffering of the Uyghurs, during his recent “All-In” podcast. He said nobody cares about the ethnic Muslim minority persecuted in China.
“Let’s be honest, nobody cares about what’s happening to the Uyghurs,” Palihapitiya told the podcast’s co-host. “You bring it up because you really care, and I think that’s nice that you care. The rest of us don’t care.
“I’m telling you a very hard, ugly truth. Of all the things that I care about, it is below my line.”
“I care about [empty shelves at grocery stores]. Palihapitiya added. “I care about climate change. I care about America’s crippling and decrepit health care infrastructure.”
While Palihapitiya was shredded on social networks, his comments shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who has watched the NBA kowtow to communist China.
Lasry’s campaign did not return two messages from Empower Wisconsin asking the liberal U.S. Senate candidate what he thinks of Palihapitiya’s callous comments or whether he intends to give back his $2,900 campaign contribution.
Lasry has his own image troubles with China. As Empower Wisconsin reported last month, the liberal 1-percenter was asked about China’s economic coercion of American businesses, particularly Lasry’s beloved NBA. What would he do, if elected to serve as a Wisconsin U.S. senator, to protect American industries from the heavy hand of Communist China?
Lasry’s wealthy family knows a lot about supplication at the feet of China, too. The NBA and their teams, including the Milwaukee Bucks, have been kissing communist China’s ass for years to keep the money spigot turned on — human rights be damned.
Still, the Democrat tried to shift focus to Republicans.
“You have these Republican senators complaining about someone’s statement on China, and I’m, like, you’re in government, you’re in the U.S. Senate. Where’s your bill to protect the people of Hong Kong? Where’s your bill or your ability to move and push at the time of the Trump administration to play a heavier hand?” Lasry said last fall.
Alibaba Group developed the Chinese propaganda app, “’Xuexi Qiangguo, and has a “deep record” of collaborating with the State Security Bureaucracy. Alibaba is the biggest e-commerce company in the world, while Tencent operates the popular WeChat messaging service. They’re also accused of being tools for China’s central state.
“’Xuexi Qiangguo,’ which literally translates as ‘Study to make China strong’ and is a play on the government propaganda theme of applying President Xi Jinping’s thoughts, overtook Tik Tok’s Chinese version Douyin and WeChat to become the county’s most popular app on Apple’s China app store…,” Reuters reported in 2019.
Lasry’s billionaire daddy, Marc Lasry, has been a giddy cheerleader for investing in China.
“Economically, for us, that’s actually great,” the hedge fund manager and co-owner of the Milwaukee Bucks told Forbes in May. The elder Lasry’s Avenue Capital Group boasted $11.8 billion in assets under management as of August, about $1.8 billion of that in China.
The Warriors distanced themselves from Palihapitiya’s opinion on Monday, according to the New York Post.
“As a limited investor who has no day-to-day operating functions with the Warriors, Mr.Palihapitiya’ does not speak on behalf of our franchise, and his views certainly don’t reflect those of our organization,” the team said in a statement.
Does Lasry agree with his donor’s comments?