Billionaire businessman Joe Tsai told CNBC on Tuesday that Asian Americans have wrongly faced violent backlash for various challenges facing the U.S. throughout history.

In an interview on "Squawk Box," the co-founder and executive vice chairman of China-based tech giant Alibaba offered a personal and historic reflection on the spike in racist attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.

"If the economy is well, the Asian Americans play by the rules, prosper together with everybody else, that's fine," said Tsai, who owns the NBA's Brooklyn Nets and the WNBA's New York Liberty.

"But if there's a crisis — if there's a pandemic, if there's a war or if there's an economic downturn — Asian Americans get scapegoated," added Tsai, whose parents were from mainland China. He was born in Taiwan and came to the U.S. at age 13 to attend a New Jersey boarding school. He got his undergraduate and law degrees at Yale.

More in category

Cramer's lightning round: Astra Space is a good spec at the right price
July 27, 2021CNBC
Cramer's lightning round: Astra Space is a good spec at the right price
Fed is walking ‘bit of a tightrope’ between downside risks and inflation
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
Fed is walking ‘bit of a tightrope’ between downside risks and inflation
Hey Intel, AMD’s CEO is also ready to ‘fight for every socket,’ while producing strong growth
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
Hey Intel, AMD’s CEO is also ready to ‘fight for every socket,’ while producing strong growth
Big 5 tech stocks now account for 23% of the S&P 500
July 26, 2021MarketWatch
Big 5 tech stocks now account for 23% of the S&P 500
Biden says requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated 'under consideration'
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
Biden says requiring all federal employees to be vaccinated 'under consideration'
CDC: Vaccinated Americans should start wearing masks again in public indoor spaces in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
CDC: Vaccinated Americans should start wearing masks again in public indoor spaces in areas with high COVID-19 transmission rates
CDC reverses policy on face masks amid reports of breakthrough infections with delta variant of COVID-19
July 27, 2021MarketWatch
CDC reverses policy on face masks amid reports of breakthrough infections with delta variant of COVID-19
Coca-Cola, Visa reps refuse to condemn China's treatment of Uyghur people, Cotton calls it 'pathetic'
July 27, 2021FOX Business
Coca-Cola, Visa reps refuse to condemn China's treatment of Uyghur people, Cotton calls it 'pathetic'
Apple crushes June quarter earnings records
July 27, 2021FOX Business
Apple crushes June quarter earnings records
GOP rep introduces transparency bill targeting POTUS family members
July 27, 2021FOX Business
GOP rep introduces transparency bill targeting POTUS family members
KUDLOW: Biden should recruit Trump to help the call for vaccinations
July 27, 2021FOX Business
KUDLOW: Biden should recruit Trump to help the call for vaccinations
Why Chinese Tech Stocks Were Slipping Again Today
July 27, 2021The Motley Fool
Why Chinese Tech Stocks Were Slipping Again Today
Why Apple Stock Is Sliding After Hours Today
July 27, 2021The Motley Fool
Why Apple Stock Is Sliding After Hours Today
UPS CEO says U.S. deliveries slowed down last quarter as economy reopened
July 27, 2021CNBC
UPS CEO says U.S. deliveries slowed down last quarter as economy reopened
This could be the peak of the tech boom: Here’s what to look for
July 26, 2021MarketWatch
This could be the peak of the tech boom: Here’s what to look for
Tether executives under federal criminal investigation, report says
July 26, 2021MarketWatch
Tether executives under federal criminal investigation, report says
Watch for the Fed to tiptoe toward tapering this week
July 23, 2021MarketWatch
Watch for the Fed to tiptoe toward tapering this week
More than 1 in 10 Americans invested in crypto this year — here’s how they differ from stock market investors
July 22, 2021MarketWatch
More than 1 in 10 Americans invested in crypto this year — here’s how they differ from stock market investors
$15 wage becoming regular as employers struggle to fill jobs
July 27, 2021FOX Business
$15 wage becoming regular as employers struggle to fill jobs
IRS leak can be used to destroy any American: Rep Issa
July 27, 2021FOX Business
IRS leak can be used to destroy any American: Rep Issa
Microsoft beats expectations on earnings and revenue
July 27, 2021FOX Business
Microsoft beats expectations on earnings and revenue