STUDY: ESPN Has Yet to Mention NBA Owner Who Said ‘Nobody Cares’ About Uyghurs

Mike Windle/Getty Images for ESPN

Purported sports cable network ESPN completely ignored the story of Warriors Co-Owner Chamath Palihapitiya, who said that no one cares about China’s ongoing genocide against its minority Uyghur population.

According to Mediaite, up until Tuesday afternoon, the story had not appeared on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPN News.

Last weekend, Palihapitiya, one of a group of billionaires who co-own the Golden State Warriors and a Democrat megadonor, appeared on the All-In podcast on Saturday and said no one cares about genocide in China, and he has other, more important priorities to worry about.

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

Palihapitiya’s comments immediately kicked up a storm of criticism, and in short order, the Warriors distanced themselves from his intemperate remarks.

“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 on Monday.

The Biden administration also rejected Palihapitiya’s callousness.

“The Biden Administration rejects this statement and will continue to hold the PRC accountable,” a Biden spokeswoman said. Citing the Biden administration’s support for the Uyghur Forced Labor Protection Act, the spokeswoman reiterated Biden’s commitment to “ensure all global supply chains are free from the use of forced labor.”

Chamath Palihapitiya of Social+Capital Partnership speaks onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on April 29, 2013 in New...

NEW YORK, NY – APRIL 29: Chamath Palihapitiya of Social+Capital Partnership speaks onstage at the TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013 at The Manhattan Center on April 29, 2013, in New York City. (Photo by Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

But despite all the recriminations — even from the White House — ESPN has yet to dedicate a single minute to the Palihapitiya’s hateful comments. Conversely, in 2019, when then-Rockets General Manager Daryl Morey spoke out in favor of the pro-democracy movement in Hong Kong, ESPN went with wall-to-wall coverage as they did their level best to shun Morey and broadcast the NBA’s apologies and kowtowing to Beijing.

ESPN has shown itself to be concerned with showing favorability to China in other instances. For example, shortly after the Morey incident, the network showed a map of China that violated the territorial integrity of five different nations and showed the entirety of Taiwan as part of China.

ESPN has not only not mentioned Palihapitiya’s hateful comments, but they also have not mentioned Senator Tom Cotton’s call for the NBA to force Palihapitiya to sell his shares in the Warriors.

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