Daily Beast withdraws article ‘outing’ athletes in Olympic village
The Daily Beast has removed an article about Olympic athletes using hook-up apps following widespread criticism.
The American news site published a story yesterday (Thursday, August 11) exposing, not only how many athletes were on apps such as Grindr, but how easy it was for them to arrange to have sex.
The piece, entitled ‘I got three Grindr dates in an hour in the Olympic village’, was written by straight, married journalist Nico Hines and drew criticism for potentially exposing closeted athletes.
In one case, Hines even gave the height, weight, nationality and language of a competitor who came from a country where widespread discrimination against LGBT people is common.
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In an editor’s note released by John Avlon on Thursday, he said the Daily Beast had heard concerns and changed the name of the story.
He added the publication was committed to “full equality and equal treatment for LGBT people around the world”.
He apologised for jeopardising athletes at the village, but said: “It just so happened that Nico had many more responses on Grindr than apps that cater mostly to straight people, and so he wrote about that”.
Many, including out Tongan athlete Amini Fonua, said this was unacceptable.
Late on Thursday night, the article was removed with the URL now directing to a note from editors. It reads: “We were wrong. We will do better.”
According to OutSports, only 48 athletes at this games are openly LGBT – 0.45% of all competitors.
It is still unclear whether Hines pitched the story or he was commissioned to report it.