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article imageSportswriter slammed for racist tweet about Indy 500 winner

By Arthur Weinreb     May 29, 2017 in Internet
Denver Post sportswriter Terry Frei has come under fire for a “racist” tweet he sent after the Indy 500. After criticism, he dug in deeper but later apologized and tried to justify his upset over the fact a Japanese driver won the race.
Yesterday, the 101st running of the Indy 500 was won by 40-year-old Takuma Sato of Japan. Sato came close to winning the race five years ago when he slammed into a wall after attempting to pass Dario Franchitti. The crash allowed Franchitti to win the race. Yesterday, Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the famed race.
Shortly after the race, Frei, tweeted he felt “uncomfortable” that a Japanese driver won the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend. The tweet has been deleted but not before screen grabs were taken. The tweet was first reported by the New York Post.
Terry Frei  very uncomfortable  with Takuma Sato winning Indy 500
Terry Frei "very uncomfortable" with Takuma Sato winning Indy 500
Screen grab
Reaction on Twitter came swiftly. Frei was accused of racism, xenophobia and just being dumb. One tweet questioned how people who think like this are dumb enough to publicize it. Frei’s initial reaction to the backlash was to attack the critics. The sportswriter tweeted “THIS is what Memorial Day is about. Dave Schreiner’s death in the battle of Okinawa. Not for the squeamish or sensitive.” Frei admitted he took Schreiner’s name out of a book.
The second tweet brought even more criticism with one person asking if Sato killed Schreiner before he went on to win the Indy. Another tweet accused Frei of doubling down on Japanese racism.
Frei eventually deleted both tweets and tweeted a two-word apology, “I apologize.” Then, in a longer tweet, the sportswriter made excuses for his original tweet, saying he went to visit his father’s grave on Memorial Day. His father had fought in Okinawa during World War II and some of his father’s fellow soldiers were killed. Frei went on to say 72 years have passed since the war had ended and the writer then apologized to anyone he had offended and to Sato.
The Denver Post issued an apology saying Frei’s statement does not reflect the organization’s standards and values. The newspaper also indicated as this is a personnel issue they would have no further comment.
It is not yet known what if any disciplinary action the Denver Post will take against Frei.
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