Out Olympian Denounces Daily Beast's Grindr Article

Amini Fonua

UPDATE: The Daily Beast withdrew the article late Thursday night, following an online apology and after the story was edited to remove some of the questionable details originally included in the report.

A gay Olympian from the Pacific island nation of Tonga is calling out a Daily Beast contributor for his article on using Grindr to find gay hookups in the Olympic Village — an article that could potentially put closeted gay men in danger.

This afternoon, swimmer Amini Fonua “let fly a tweet storm that powerfully captures the damage this story will cause,” reports Slate, which earlier had carried a piece denouncing the Beast’s story.

Daily Beast reporter Nico Hines, a straight, married man, wrote the story about using a variety of hookup apps — some aimed at straight people, some at gay ones — to see if the Olympic Village in Rio de Janeiro “is a hotbed of partying athletes, hookups, and sex, sex, sex.”

He got the most responses on gay-oriented Grindr, so he focused on those. His article originally included respondents’ nationalities and descriptions of their physical appearance — details that could have the effect of outing closeted athletes, creating a danger for those from anti-LGBT nations. Eventually the site’s editors cut those identifying details.

There had been few comments on the article from athletes, Gus Kenworthy being a notable exception, until Fonua began tweeting. A sample:

The Daily Beast article, published late Wednesday, was withdrawn late Thursday evening.

Tags: Sports, Media, Video

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