A former white journalist, Terry Frei, was fired from Denver Post after posting a racist tweet. He tweeted that he was uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 race.
A statement by the publisher, Mac Tully, and editor, Lee Ann Colacioppo, of Denver Post stated:
“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.”
The winner of the Indy 500 was Takuma Sato from Japan, where he defeated Ed Jones and Helio Castroneves in the final lap. Sato exponentially progressed in the race and surpassed Castroneves in the last lap, even with Castroneves leading with six laps prior. Sato is the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapolis race, which was held in Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana.
After the victory, Frei posted a tweet and showcased how he was unhappy with the results.
“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” he tweeted.
Before he could delete his tweet, people have screenshot the post and was shared virally on social media.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) May 29, 2017
Frei justified his racist post, stating that “THIS is what Memorial Day is about. Dave Schreiner’s death in Battle of Okinawa. Not for squeamish or ‘sensitive’”.
This statement was a reference to an American football player who had died in World War II.
One twitter user questioned Frei’s posts, asking, “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?”
After receiving immense negative feedback, Frei deleted his second tweet and simply wrote, “I apologize”.
Denver Post did not condone this behavior and released a statement in response to this atrocity:
The Denver Post's statement on Terry Frei: pic.twitter.com/0YAmYawW7q
— The Denver Post (@denverpost) May 29, 2017
Frei posted his final message on his Twitter account:
OK, I took out the name of a book. pic.twitter.com/b953FbqMEh
— Terry Frei (@TFrei) May 29, 2017