I wasn’t surprised that anti-Japanese sentiments were expressed when Takuma Sato, a Japanese driver, won the Indianapolis 500 race — he is the first driver from Japan to take the flag. But I was shocked, and disappointed that the hateful sentiment was blurted by a journalist. In Denver, where I live. And that it was someone I had worked with.
Terri Frei, a veteran sports writer for The Denver Post whose main beat was the Colorado Avalanche hockey team, tweeted shortly after Sato’s historic victory, “Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.”
The comment sparked a social media furor, and within 24 hours, on Memorial Day, The Denver Post announced that Frei no longer worked for the newspaper.
I didn’t know Frei well, but I worked with him, when I managed the DenverPost.com website. I was bewildered that he would post such a blunt, ethnically charged statement.