Kyodo News
Back to Main
Motor racing: Reporter fired for racist tweet on Sato's Indy 500 win

A Denver Post sportswriter lost his job Monday after tweeting
that he was "uncomfortable" with Japanese driver Takuma Sato winning
the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.

"Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with
a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day
weekend," Terry Frei wrote, after Sato became the first Japanese and
Asian driver to win the Indy 500 on Sunday.

Frei deleted the tweet after being met with waves of criticism
accusing him of being racist, but it was too little, too late. The
Denver Post issued a statement saying he was no longer staff.

"We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that
was sent by one of our reporters," the Colorado newspaper said.
"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."

Frei apologized to both Sato and The Denver Post.

"I fouled up. I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said what I said when
I said it. I should have known better and I regret it," Frei posted
on his Twitter account. "I in no way meant to represent my employer
and I apologize to The Denver Post."

"I apologize to Takuma Sato. I made a stupid reference, during
an emotional weekend, to one of the nations that we fought in World
War II -- and, in this case, the specific one my father fought

Sato earned $2,458,129 for Sunday's victory, the Indianapolis
Motor Speedway said. Sato held off three-time champion Helio
Castroneves by 0.2011 seconds in what was the sixth closest finish in
Indy 500 history. (May 29 Kyodo)

Takuma Sato's exclusive story by the Chicago Shimpo
Hit here!


Takuma Sato (L) speaks in an interview with local media after becoming
the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis 500 in Indianapolis,
Indiana, on May 28, 2017. The 40-year-old Sato, a former Formula
One driver, edged the race's three-time champion Helio Castroneves
for the victory. (Kyodo)