The Daily Beast has been forced to remove an article penned by one of its reporters which went into detail about gay athletes participating in the Rio 2016 Olympic games.
Nico Hines, a straight reporter at the politics and pop culture website, published the article on Thursday night (10 August) under the headline: 'The Other Olympic Sport In Rio: Swiping'.
The premise of the piece was based around Hines signing up to gay dating app Grindr while stationed in Rio to cover the Summer Olympics. The article, however, promoted backlash from Twitter and activists in the LGBT community for "outing" several gay athletes including one competing on behalf of a country "where discrimination and violence against the LGBT community is widespread," according to Attitude magazine.
Hines boasted that he gained three dates within an hour of activating the app, and while he didn't name which sportsmen had expressed an interest in meeting with him the article gave away details which could have made the athlete's identifiable to readers. In one instance he included the height, weight and other physical features of an athlete as well as their nationality .
"The country in question is not one represented by any of the 48 openly gay athletes competing at the Games, leaving no doubt that the athlete messaged by Hines is closeted," said Attitude.
It has since been removed by the Daily Beast's editors, who apologized this morning to any athletes who may have been "compromised" by the feature.
Twitter users were quick to call out the publication, with openly gay Tangan Olympian Amini Fonua dubbing it "deplorable".
— Amini Fonua (@AminiFonua) August 11, 2016
Unless queer outing is now an Olympic sport, can we just all agree that @NicoHines piece is outright homophobia? Needs to be withdrawn.
— Joshua Dixon (@JoshDixonTweets) August 11, 2016
— Nick Coveney (@nmjcoveney) August 11, 2016
"Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values," wrote the publication's editors in a statement, adding: "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," the note finished.