The Denver Post says sportswriter Terry Frei is no longer an employee of the paper after he tweeted he was “very uncomfortable” with Japanese driver Takuma Sato winning the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day weekend.
“We apologize for the disrespectful and unacceptable tweet that was sent by one of our reporters,” publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo wrote in a statement Monday. “The tweet doesn’t represent what we believe nor what we stand for. We hope you will accept our profound apologies.”
The statement says Frei is “no longer an employee” at the paper, but adds there will be no further comment, citing employee confidentiality.
“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” Frei tweeted Sunday after Sato’s historic win. His post, which appeared to reference World War II, drew immediate criticism.
He later deleted the post, and posted an apology.
The newspaper also posted an apology Sunday night.
Frei, who was named sportswriter of the year four times in Colorado and three times in Oregon, later posted a longer apology, saying “I made a stupid reference, during an emotional weekend,” noting that his late father had been a World War II veteran in the Pacific.
He also apologized to Sato, and reposted the apology after removing a reference to one of his books.
Sato became the first Japanese driver to win the Indianapois 500 on Sunday.