Writer apol­o­gizes for Indy tweet

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - SCOTT ALLEN The Washington Post

Den­ver Post sportswriter Terry Frei is­sued an apol­ogy Sun­day af­ter fac­ing back­lash for a tweet that he later deleted about Takuma Sato win­ning the Indianapolis 500.

“Noth­ing specif­i­cally per­sonal, but I am very un­com­fort­able with a Ja­panese driver win­ning the Indianapolis 500 dur­ing Memo­rial Day week­end,” Frei tweeted af­ter Sato be­came the first Ja­panese driver to win the pres­ti­gious race.

“I apol­o­gize,” Frei tweeted hours later. The Den­ver Post tweeted its own apol­ogy and in­di­cated that Frei’s tweet “does not re­flect the stan­dards and value of our or­ga­ni­za­tion.” Frei later tweeted a length­ier apol­ogy, which he deleted and re­placed with a slightly re­vised ver­sion.

Here’s the full text of the apol­ogy by Frei:

“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 Two — 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.

“Sin­cerely, Terry Frei”

MICHAEL CON­ROY, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Indianapolis 500 cham­pion Takuma Sato of Ja­pan poses with the Borg-Warner Tro­phy dur­ing the tra­di­tional win­ners photo ses­sion on the start/fin­ish line at the Indianapolis Mo­tor Speed­way on Mon­day.

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