Daily Beast potentially outs LGBT athletes in controversial Olympic Grindr hook-up article

US news and entertainment website The Daily Beast has published a controversial article about the ease of getting a date with Olympic athletes via Grindr. Journalist Nico Hines, who is straight, logged onto Grindr in an attempt to meet LGBT athletes, many of whom may not be open about their sexuality. The exact reason for doing so remains unclear, but the article seems to be focused on poking fun at potentially closeted male competitors trying to meet each other using apps. Capture Hines also reveals a great deal of personal information about the men he has spoken to in the article - information which could potentially be used to identify them, including athletes from countries where being openly LGBT is potentially dangerous. In one particular instance, he published the exact height, weight and nationality of an athlete from a country where discrimination and violence against the LGBT community is widespread:
The [height], [weight] athlete from [nationality], who sent his address, had a Rio 2016 duvet cover as his main picture. His profile read “I’m looking for sex” in both English and [language].
He asked for “a sex foto” but I’m a bit of a prude like that, so I sent a selfie from the fencing earlier this week.
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. Attempting to justify his presence on the app, Hines wrote:
For the record, I didn’t lie to anyone or pretend to be someone I wasn’t—unless you count being on Grindr in the first place—since I’m straight, with a wife and child. I used my own picture (just of my face…) and confessed to being a journalist as soon as anyone asked who I was.
Many were quick to point out the unjustifiably salacious - not to mention potentially dangerous - nature of the article.
"These hookup apps exist to protect us from YOU," wrote one user. "We have to hide, in plain sight, because you still don't get it, or us." Another added: "Unless queer outing is now an Olympic sport, can we just all agree that @NicoHines piece is outright homophobia? Needs to be withdrawn." While this year's Olympics has more out LGBT athletes than ever before, many sportspeople still fear coming out because of reactions from fans, or the impact it may have on sponsorship deals. There have also been reports of homophobic chanting taking place at certain events. Let's hope the positive stories of LGBT athletes representing their countries outweighs the moments of bigotry and ignorance that undermine just how far The Games have come. More stories: Daily Mail questions Chris Mears and Jack Laughers masculinity after gold medal hug Meet the openly LGBT athletes representing their countries in Rio