Sportswriter Out of Job After Tweet About Indy 500 Champ

Japanese driver's victory made him 'very uncomfortable,' wrote Terry Frei
By Linda Hervieux,  Newser Staff
Posted May 30, 2017 5:40 AM CDT
Updated May 30, 2017 6:17 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Denver Post has parted ways with a prize-winning sportswriter who tweeted that he was dismayed a driver from Japan won the the Indy 500. "Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend," Terry Frei tweeted on Sunday. The Twittersphere erupted with outrage and although Frei's post was deleted, and he later tweeted that he had "made a mistake," the damage was done. On Monday, Post honchos issued an apology for the "disrespectful and unacceptable tweet" that "doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for." The brief statement noted Frei is no longer employed by the paper. Takuma Sato made history on Sunday when he became the first driver from Asia to win the prestigious silver trophy.

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"I made a stupid reference, during an emotional weekend," Frei tweeted in his lengthy apology, adding that the tweet came the same day he visited the grave of his father, a WWII pilot who flew missions against Japan and who lost two friends in the Battle of Okinawa. "This is part of my perspective," he wrote, but "I know better and I’m angry at myself because there was no constructive purpose in saying it." While some of Frei's defenders took to Twitter, notes 9News, the mea culpa did little to quell the furor. "Using your dad's history to justify racism is disrespectful to your dad," one woman tweeted. Frei worked at the Post for more than 20 years, collecting kudos four times as the state's top sportswriter, per CNNMoney. (An Indy 500 driver walked away from a nightmare crash on Sunday.)

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