International Olympics Committee says story highlighting closeted athletes on Grindr was ‘simply unacceptable’
Nico Hines, the Daily Beast writer who prompted widespread criticism last week when he penned an article on closeted gay athletes in the Olympic village, has reportedly left Rio.
He was in the city to cover the Olympics for the news website. His latest story explored how many athletes in the Olympic village were on hook-up apps. Hines, who is heterosexual, said he got the greatest response when he logged on to Grindr.
He went on to describe conversations he had with closeted athletes online. Although he did not name them, he gave revealing personal details, such as their height and weight, and their countries of origin. A couple of them came from countries which have laws prohibiting same-sex sexual activity.
It’s feared that the story may have placed them in danger when they return home.
As condemnation grew the article was first edited to delete some of the details. A few hours later, Daily Beast took the highly unusual step of withdrawing the entire article and instead published an apology from the editor.
‘We screwed up. We will do better,’ said the editor’s note.
‘We’re sorry. And we apologize to the athletes who may have been inadvertently compromised by our story.’
There has been no response from Mr Hines himself to the controversy, who has not Tweeted or published another article on the Daily Beast since the Grindr story controversy broke.
In an email to Outsports, the International Olympic Committee said of the story: ‘This kind of reporting is simply unacceptable.’
A petition has been circulating demanding that the IOC revoke Hines’ and the Daily Beast’s press access to the games, but the IOC told Outsports that it understands Hines has now left Rio.
‘We understand the organization concerned recalled the journalist after complaints and withdrew the story.’