Sportswriter Terry Frei, a Denver-based journalist, novelist, historian, screenwriter and affiliate professor at Metropolitan State University of Denver, has been fired by The Denver Post for tweeting his discomfort about Takuma Sato winning the Indy 500.
“Nothing specifically personal, but I am very uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend,” Frei said on Sunday.
Frei deleted the tweet and apologized, but Denver Post publisher Mac Tully and editor Lee Ann Colacioppo issued a statement Monday that Terry Frei is no longer a Denver Post employee.
Denver Post statement on Terry Frei
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.
Mac Tully and Lee Ann Colacioppo
Terry Frei also issued a statement on Twitter where he admitted he “fouled up.”
Terri Frei’s Statement and Apology
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. I in no way meant to represent my employer and I apologized to The Denver Post.
On Sunday, I was going down to Fort Logan National Cemetery to place flowers on the grave of and to salute my father, Jerry Frei, who spent the four-year gap between his sophomore and junior seasons at Wisconsin flying the F-5 unarmed version of the one-man P-38 fighter plane in the 26th Photo Squadron. (And I did make that visit.) He flew alone, or with a partner in a second plane, over Japanese targets in advance of the bombing runs. When Blake Olson of Channel 9 asked him about being unarmed, he laughed and said, ‘I had a pistol.’ He flew 67 missions, crossing the 300 combat hours threshold, and earned the World War II Air Medal three times. I have written much other material about American athletes in World War II. I researched and wrote quite graphically about the deaths of my father’s teammates, Dave Schreiner and Bob Baumann, in the Battle of Okinawa. I have the picture wallet containing photos of his family and girlfriend that Schreiner was carrying when he was killed. That is part of my perspective.
I am sorry, I made a mistake, and I understand 72 years have passed since the end of World War II and I do regret people with whom I probably am very closely aligned with politically and philosophically have been so offended. To those people, I apologize. (In fact, the assumptions about my political leanings have been quite inaccurate.) 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 against. Again, I will say I’m sorry, I know better, and I’m angry at myself because there was no constructive purpose in saying it and I should not have said it, especially because The Denver Post has been dragged into this.
Terry Frei was named state’s sportswriter three times in Colorado and three times in Oregon. He has written for the Rocky Mountain News, the Portland Oregonian, The Sporting News, and is the author of several books.