Amini Fonua, representing the Tonga at the Rio Olympics, calls the outing of gay athletes on the site “deplorable”
A straight, married writer for The Daily Beast has sparked outrage by luring gay (and closeted) athletes using dating apps for an article about how easy it is to hook up at the Olympic Games.
Nico Hines’ article, “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping,” was removed from the site Thursday night and replaced with an editor’s note that stated in part: “We were wrong. We will do better.”
However, the backpedaling did nothing to quell the backlash as an openly gay Olympic swimmer shared his anger over the “deplorable” column.
“As an out gay athlete from a country that is still very homophobic, @thedailybeast ought to be ashamed,” Amini Fonua, who is representing the Tonga, wrote on Twitter Thursday.
In a far more blunt message directly the Hines, Fonua wrote: “You f–king disgust me. Do you realize how many people’s lives you just ruined without any good reason but clickbait journalism?” he asked. “Some of these people you just outed are my FRIENDS. With family and lives that are forever going to be affected by this.”
Fonua — who competes Saturday in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke and is one of only two openly gay swimmers currently competing in Rio, according to OutSports — also posted a very clear message to the shamed journalist via Instagram, basically telling him to kiss his “hot ass.”
Among the passages in the article was this one:
“Perhaps the question most people have is: How do the rest of us get an invite? Can an Average Joe join the bacchanalia?
After 60 minutes in the Olympic Village on Tuesday evening, I’m surprised to say that the answer is ‘yes.’
He also included just enough clues so that anyone with an Internet connection could figure who these athletes are.
The Note From the Editor that replaced the article read:
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.
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.
Click here for the full apology and see Fonua’s tweets and cheeky Instagram post below.
No “Daily Beast” you are not sorry and your apology is not accepted. You can all go and get fucked and then you can come and kiss my ass. How about “outing” gay Republicans at RNC? Surely, you cannot out your sponsors and you would not have balls either
The Daily Beast’s article titled “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping” was found by many to be, at best, in poor taste and at worst, homophobic and potentially dangerous. To summarize it, a straight man was sent to Rio to see how Olympians use dating and hookup apps. However, he focused most of his attention on Grindr, a hookup app targeted to gay men.
“No prizes for guessing that Grindr proved more of an instant hookup success than Bumble or Tinder,” author Nico Haines wrote in a questionable sentence. Given that Grindr was never intended to be a dating service, Haines’ multiple critics took this sentence to cast shame on the sex lives of gay men.
In its original form, the article was published using the pictures of the athletes – one of whom hails from a country where homosexuality is a crime.
For athletes such as him, leaving their country gave them the opportunity to express their sexuality in a way many heterosexual individuals – such as the author of the Daily Beast article – may take for granted.
Pictures have since been removed from the piece, but nothing on the internet is ever truly gone for good. This leaves a number of lingering questions, such as “Why would anyone think this was a good idea?”
This begs the question: why was this necessary? It seems odd that the Daily Beast dedicated a piece to “see how dating and hook-up apps were being used in Rio by athletes,” as Editor in Chief John Avlon wrote in response to the backlash, while they did not apply that same logic to an event in the US – such as the Republican National Convention – where no one will be put to death because of their sexuality.
The Daily Beast’s coverage of the convention was standard for the left-leaning news source. They covered Cleveland’s Hospitals preparing for the bouts of violence that never materialized and comedian John Oliver’s coverage of the RNC, as well as multiple articles about Trump’s influence over the convention.
Meanwhile, there were reports of gigolos earning $800 a day during the convention by having rendezvous with men from conservative states – men of more influence than a 22-year-old runner from a distant country.
“The Republicans have a lot of delegates in the closet, let’s put it that way,” one escort told the New York Post.Escorts described their RNC clients as married and aged between 40 and 50, while Craigslist teemed with ads offering gay sex targeted at convention-goers. Meanwhile, the average age of an Olympic athlete is roughly 25, according to Sports Illustrated. These athletes are not politicians, they do not write anti-homosexual legislation and their sex lives affect no one except for them and their partner – or partners, depending on what app they’re using.
The Beast’s “Olympic sex” article looks even stranger when it is compared with the paper’s response to a Gawker scandal in the summer of 2015. Gawker paid a gay escort for evidence that outed a seemingly unknown corporate figure that will remain nameless. Writers for the Daily Beast wasted no time in condemning the move, writing pieces titled “Shame on Gawker.”