If former Denver Post columnist Terry Frei’s immediate reaction was any indication, an Asian winning a prestigious American sports event can indeed ruffle some racist people’s feathers.
After a glorious win at the recently concluded Indianapolis 500, Japanese-born driver Takuma Sato and his racing team, Andretti Autosport, anticipated a celebratory week, and rightfully so.
Sato, after more than a decade of pro-racing, had just clinched a major upset on Sunday by winning the “Greatest Spectacle in Racing”. He also became the first Asian driver to ever win the annual event at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
However, a huge chunk of their time was spent on deleting and reporting all of the racist, prejudiced, hateful and derogatory comments people have reportedly been posting on their social media accounts in the last few days, Jalopnik reports.
Following the incident that had Frei fired for tweeting that he was “very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend,” the Andretti team allegedly faced similar racist comments and messages on its Facebook page.
The negative posts became so much for Andretti Autosport that it was forced to release a statement to address the situation by appealing to the public:
Sato, who developed his passion for the sport after watching a Formula One race at Suzuka Circuit when he was just 10 years old, bagged $2.5 million and the admiration from his fellow Asians for his win.