Tonga’s gay Olympic swimmer tears into journalist who ‘outed’ athletes on Grindr
A gay Olympic athlete from Tonga has flashed his rear end at a journalist who trawled Grindr in the Olympic village.
The Daily Beast put up a piece, originally titled ‘I got three Grindr dates in an Hour in the Olympic Village’ by straight, married journalist Nico Hines.
Hines reflected on reports of hook-ups and sex parties during the Olympics, and took to Grindr in Rio himself in a bid to find athletes who were up for sex.
But he came under fire for potentially exposing closeted athletes.
The article recounted the country and sport of many of those looking for sex on Grindr. 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.
Tongan Olympian Amini Fonua, who is openly gay, tore into the story.
He tweeted: “As an out gay athlete from a country that is still very homophobic, @thedailybeast ought to be ashamed.
“Imagine the one space you can feel safe, the one space you’re able to be yourself, ruined by a straight person who thinks it’s all a joke?
“No straight person will ever know the pain of revealing your truth, to take that away is just… I can’t. It literally brings me to tears.
“It is still illegal to be gay in Tonga, and while I’m strong enough to be me in front of the world, not everybody else is. Respect that.”
He posted a picture of his rear end on Instagram, adding: “Yo @nicohines & @thedailybeast – if what you were looking for on Grindr was hot ass (and I don’t see any other reason why you’d be on there) here you have mine in all its proud glory.
“Now, kiss it and f**k off.”
Homosexuality is still technically illegal in Tonga under a Colonial-era penal code, with a maximum penalty of 10 years’ imprisonment.
The outlet wrote: “Today, The Daily Beast took an unprecedented but necessary step: We are removing an article from our site.
“The Daily Beast does not do this lightly. 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.
“Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong. We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.
“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.
“As a newsroom, we succeed together and we fail together, and this was a failure on The Daily Beast as a whole, not a single individual.
“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. We were wrong. We will do better. ”
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