The International Olympic Committee condemned the Daily Beast article baiting gay athletes as “simply unacceptable” and indicated the writer, Nico Hines, is no longer in Rio.
“We understand the organization concerned recalled the journalist after complaints and withdrew the story,” an IOC spokesperson told Outsports.
In his post, Hines used Grindr and Jack’d to connect with gay Olympians, even though he is a married heterosexual.
“The concept for the piece was to see how dating and hook-up apps were being used in Rio by athletes,” wrote DB editor in chief John Avlon in an editor’s note added later. “It just so happened that Nico had many more responses on Grindr than apps that cater mostly to straight people, and so he wrote about that.”
But, as many pointed out, Hines included specific information that could identify the athletes he communicated with, including some from countries that outlaw homosexuality.
At first the Daily Beast edited the article to remove details, but after a firestorm of criticism from activists, athletes and LGBT groups—many of whom called for the IOC to revoke Hines’ credentials—the site took the article down and replaced it with an editor’s note.
“Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong. We’re sorry.”
“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,” the note read. “We screwed up. We will do better.”
It’s not clear what Hines’ future will be with the Daily Beast—he has not addressed the issue publicly and his Twitter has been idle since the article went live.