Indianapolis 500 winner, former F1 driver & British F3 champion Takuma Sato yesterday spoke out about the racist tweet posted by a former writer of the Denver Post.
Part of the fabled ‘Triple Crown‘, the Indy 500 is one of the oldest, fastest races in global motorsport and Sato became the first driver from Japan to win it.
After the race, sports writer Terry Frei posted on Twitter that he was “uncomfortable with a Japanese driver winning the Indianapolis 500 during Memorial Day weekend.”
The writer later deleted the tweet, but a screenshot can be seen here:
The day after the race ended, Frei’s employer; the Denver Post fired him apologised for his “disrespectful and unacceptable tweet.” It appeared that Frei’s original tweet and subsequent apology wasn’t acceptable for the Newspaper. Incredibly Frei appears to mildly plug the fact that he’s written books on the subject of ‘American athletes in WW2’ during his ‘apology’.
Sato’s reaction to the affair was dignified stating that it was “unfortunate” Frei had lost his job and he appreciated the support he’s received from people who considered Frei’s tweet to be inappropriate. “I do respect the Denver Post decision,” confirmed the driver.
On Sunday, Gil Asakawa, a former executive producer at the Denver Post’s website, wrote a Facebook post wondering what Frei thought about a Japanese man running the website that featured his sports coverage.
“Was he ‘very uncomfortable’ with me having power over his content?” he said, before questioning whether Frei would’ve reacted the same way had a German or Italian driver won the race.
Sadly it appears that race tensions are still apparent in all Motorsport, not just F1.
Sato ends on a positive note: “Well, now we achieved the big dream and achievement, now we are concentrating on the rest of the season, try to get as many points as possible to challenge for the championship.”