Daily Beast pulls ‘shameful’ Olympian Grindr story

Tongan Swimmer Amini Fonuax-min

News website The Daily Beast has taken down an article that attracted criticism for potentially outing closeted gay Olympians on Grindr.

Reporter Nico Hines, who is straight, said he wrote the article to test the widespread rumours that the Olympic Village is “a hotbed of partying athletes, hookups, and sex, sex, sex.”

He said he conducted his “research” by downloading several popular gay and straight hookup apps.

“No prizes for guessing that Grindr proved more of an instant hookup success than Bumble or Tinder,” he wrote, and went on to give details of some of the athletes he connected with on the app.

But according to reports, Hines included in his original article details about the athletes’ nationalities and physical appearances that many called both an invasion of privacy and a serious risk to closeted gay athletes, especially those from anti-LGBTI countries.

Openly gay Tongan swimmer Amini Fonua (pictured) was among those condemning the Daily Beast’s story online, blasting the website in a series of tweets:

The article was initially amended to remove the descriptive details of the athletes but it’s now been removed from The Daily Beast’s website and replaced with a note from the site’s editors.

“As shared in our editor’s note earlier today, we initially thought swift removal of any identifying characteristics and better clarification of our intent was the adequate way to address this,” the editors wrote.

“Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong.

“Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. These values — which include standing up to bullies and bigots, and specifically being a proudly, steadfastly supportive voice for LGBT people all over the world — are core to our commitment to journalism and to our commitment to serving our readers.

“The article was not intended to do harm or degrade members of the LGBT community, but intent doesn’t matter, impact does. Our hope is that removing an article that is in conflict with both our values and what we aspire to as journalists will demonstrate how seriously we take our error.”

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