UPDATE [5-29-17 12:40 p.m. PST]: Terry Frei has been fired from his job at the Denver Post in a statement issued by publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo:
“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters. Terry Frei is no longer an employee of The Denver Post. It’s our policy not to comment further on personnel issues. The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”
For some reason (a seemingly very racist reason), a Japanese driver’s victory in the recently concluded Indy 500 race on Sunday made one veteran sports analyst “very uncomfortable.”
Takuma Sato from Japan won the Indy 500 by defeating Helio Castroneves and Ed Jones on the final lap. Castroneves was leading with six laps to go but Sato was able to jump into the lead catching Castroneves in the next lap. Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the prestigious race held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
According to Daily Mail, the Denver Post’s Terry Frei implied in a now deleted Tweet that Takuma Sato’s win made him feel unhappy.
“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” he wrote.
Netizens were able to get a screenshot of the post before it got deleted and became widely shared on social media. The comment sparked outrage after the image of the message went viral.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) May 29, 2017
After the immediate roasting he got from other Twitter users, Frei further fuelled the fire with another not so well thought out tweet:
“THIS is what Memorial Day is about. Dave Schreiner’s death in Battle of Okinawa. Not for squeamish or ‘sensitive.'”
The post made a shameless reference to American football player Dave Schreiner who died in the Second World War during combat.
“Are you saying Takuma Sato killed Dave Schreiner in the Battle of Okinawa, and then won the Indy 500 on Memorial Day to mock him?” a Twitter user responded.
After further backlash, Frei also deleted the second tweet, which he followed with a simple post saying, “’I apologize.”
In a statement, The Denver Post responded to the controversy with the following message:
The Denver Post’s statement on Terry Frei: pic.twitter.com/0YAmYawW7q
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) May 29, 2017
Hours later, Frei posted this message on his Twitter account:
OK, I took out the name of a book. pic.twitter.com/b953FbqMEh
— Terry Frei (@TFrei) May 29, 2017