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Billionaire NBA owner Mark Cuban condemns human rights violations — but says doing business with China is A-OK


'They are a customer of ours'

Photo by Roy Rochlin/Getty Images

Billionaire and NBA team owner Mark Cuban spoke out in condemnation of human rights abuses on Monday, but told Megyn Kelly that he is "OK with doing business with China."

What are the details?

During Monday's episode of "The Megyn Kelly Show," Cuban — who owns the Dallas Mavericks — said that he will do business with China simply because "they are a customer."

Kelly, during the conversation, pressed Cuban as to whether he would continue to do business with China amid reports of human rights abuses, and if so, why.

Such reports include, but are not limited to, the targeting of more than 1 million Uyghur Muslims and other ethnic minorities with surveillance and detention in concentration camps.

"The question remains, why won't you and the NBA explicitly condemn that?" Kelly asked.

"I personally put a priority on domestic issues," he insisted. "I'm against human rights violations around the world."

Kelly began to push back and asked if his point of view extended to China.

He responded, "China is not the only country with human rights violations."

Kelly continued to push Cuban, and he added, "Yes, including China. Any human rights violations anywhere are wrong."

"Why would the NBA take $500 million dollars plus from a country that is engaging in ethnic cleansing?" she continued to prod.

Cuban fired back, "So basically you're saying nobody should do business with China ever?"

Undeterred, Kelly pressed, "Why won't you just answer my question?"

"Because they are a customer," he replied. "They are a customer of ours, and guess what, Megyn: I'm OK with doing business with China. And so we have to pick our battles. I wish we could solve all the world's problems. But we can't."

The NBA has been under fire since at least 2019 after Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey tweeted his support for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong. In response, China's government yanked Rockets merchandise and removed some NBA games from television. Other Chinese corporations opted to end their sponsorships with the NBA altogether.

The NBA immediately issued an apology following the backlash and said the league was "extremely disappointed" in Morey's "inappropriate comment." The league also made sure to point out that Morey's tweet didn't "represent the stance of the Rockets or the NBA."

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