News : Closeted Olympians Outed by a Journalist

It was a story that had less than five paragraphs to it, but it has resulted in a potentially life-threating situation for some closeted gay Olympians, and an ongoing public relations problem for online news outlet The Daily Beast and its writer, Nico Hines.

The article in question – which was originally titled “I Got Three Grindr Dates in an Hour in the Olympic Village” before being changed to “The Other Olympic Sport In Rio: Swiping” – had the straight journalist Nico Hines attempting to get dates from the Olympic Village using the day apps, Bumble, Tinder, Jack’d, and Grindr.

What angered gay Twitter and activists alike was the fact that Hines knowingly lured closeted gay athletes and then proceeded to include in his story the heights, weights, sports, and country of origin of these closeted athletes. One such athlete whose details were included in the article is from Kazakhstan, which the Human Rights Watch says “fails to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people from violence and discrimination.”

The response from Twitter was swift and is still ongoing, with dozens of tweets popping up every few minutes if you search for Hines Twitter handle, @NicoHines. Various online news outlets have also been universal in condemning the stunt pulled by The Daily Beast and Hines. Slate called the article “sleazy, dangerous, and wildly unethical”, while Mic called it “a homophobic mess.”

More traditional media organizations have also covered the story, with Vanity Fair calling the article “gay-shaming”, and the director of the Center for Journalism Ethics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Robert Drechsel, has described the article as “thoughtless, insensitive and unethical.”

At least one gay athlete has outright ranted against it. Amini Fonua, an out swimmer from Tonga, said the article was “deplorable” and said that one of the guys outed is “only 18 years old…I was 18 once & nowhere near ready to come out.”

While The Daily Beast has already removed the story, they had initially only edited it to remove the identifying details of the athletes while still standing by the story. But even more Twitter vitriol eventually prompted the outlet to remove the story and publish an apology that admits that they were wrong and will do better.

However, this has not appeased outraged people on Twitter, who are calling for the removal of Hines media credentials for the Rio Olympics. A petition has already been launched, which is now only three signatures away from reaching its target of 500.

In the midst of all of these, Hines has remained silent on Twitter, and The Daily Beast has not responded to the outcry and the call for Hines removal.

What do you guys think? Should The Daily Beast remove Hines? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

There are 86 comments

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  1. dcmusbear

    absolutely unforgiveable, unconscionable, and outright dangerous. he should be sent home and his passport revoked for putting others in danger.

  2. randallpeteres

    That is disastrous. He just put these people in the firing squad of their NON-GAY friendly countries. Even if they are allowed to go home they will be killed by the factions in control, even the honor killings by family members will not be a safe place.

  3. Sandman

    I also think the outing of anybody is shameful, unthinkable and deploring. As a gay man I would never out anybody whom I know is gay…that is their personal business…not mine or the worlds.

    • Conquistador007

      Well said Mr. Sandman..

      I agree with your comment wholeheartedly. We have a right to living our own lives on our terms and as we see fit. People need to be more respectful of one’s right to privacy..
      Anyone who believes different are just like that despicable and disgraceful journalist.

  4. jonathan douglas

    sadly the term Journalist “a person who writes for newspapers or magazines or prepares news to be broadcast on radio or television.” does not require any integrity or objectivity. This is just one more example of the media run amok and in this instance very VERY dangerous.

  5. James

    Gay people are so sensitive. I wonder if it was a gay reporter that did this, if the outcry would be the same. He didn’t post names or anything either. Gay people just want to be mad and bitch at something. Have seats y’all.

    • Jeff

      some of these people are from countries where they EXECUTE people for being GAY its not being over sensitive…if it was you who was to be executed for being straight would you be OK with being outted??

    • Chris

      It’s easy to locate the athletes given the information he posted. I hope that you’re lucky enough to live in a place that doesn’t criminalize what you do in your bedroom. Not everyone is afforded that luxury. And until you know what that’s like, you probably shouldn’t run that mouth.

    • Cory

      James, perhaps we need to dig into your personal life and bring your deep, dark secrets to light? I’m sure you would be singing a completely different tune in that instance.

      • vincent Camarda

        Then why are you on a gay booty call site? Any effort to prove your heterisexuality will be laughed at. Besides..yo gave your response to a post that gave no reason to think he was talking about your sexuality. You are SOO in the closet… Moron

    • Jesus

      James he posted very descriptive info, country stats and sports the athlete was competing in. There’s only 4 per category. Do the math you fucking moron

    • Adam

      Says the privileged piece of sh!t who’s never had his life put in jeopardy for being LGBTQ. Why don’t you have several seats to yourself, you ignorant f*cktrumpet.

    • Michael

      I agree with James, I’m so sick of the limp-wristed mafia calling for the head of anyone who prints anything at all critical of our community or of anyone perceived to be gay. I’m not for ouying anyone without their permission but I’m also against censorship of the press. And why were these gay athletes, including your precious 18yo, trolling for sex when they’re supposed to be concentrating on their respective events??? Revoke their credentials and send them home!

      • Kassio

        You dumb idiot, yes they may have been at fault for going around in these apps in the middle of a Olympic games, but they didn’t ask for their identities to be brought out to the world especially to their home countries where they DID NOT ASK to be from and certainty have no say in the law. it is one thing to say that the gay community can sometimes be over sensitive but it is a whole other story for a idiot journalist to write a piece outing various athletes that he KNOWS are from countries that are illegal to be gay with consequences that can even be deadly, he is at fault here. He could have used a general term and not went into specific detail. i am going to school for communications and i know very well the difference between writing and article that will tell a story with morals and not have many views or clicks and writing an article with no morals what so ever and no thinking of who it can affect, only thinking of the click factor. And that is exactly what he wanted. No one knew who this dumb ass was a few weeks back, now the whole world is talking about him, but unfortunately it may cost the lives of many men who had nothing to do with his urge to acquire the spot light.

      • Bill

        Well Michael,I guess your such a trophy that you had guys beating your door down when you we’re a precious 18 year old boy. And were so smug about it that you NEVER put yourself out there? Your statement “I’m not for outing any one without their permission, BUT I’m also against censorship of the press. You just showed how much of a bigot you really are. I hope you have a long term partner. Because that sort of thought process will not get you any dates. Have you thought that some of these guys need a little distraction from The rigorous training they endure? Oh that’s right your trophy ass was tended to by sugar daddies. And you didn’t have to want. And I guess you are on this site just to look at the MENu so to say since you probably have a husband that cares so much for your sorry ass. That or he doesn’t fulfill your needs any more,That you have to come here for different dick and or ass. You are one of the people that give gays a bad name.

    • Tony

      James, who the fuck are you? And yes you are gay or you would not be here just like the fake ass journalist. He’s on Grindr and just trying make an excuse for his wife. He is gay like you. Deal with your demons before talking shit.
      No straight man says ” have seats” You and the fake journalist are the worst kind of gay.s Bashing others cause you’re in denial. Pathetic piece of shit. Deal with your issues and get out of denial.

    • Bill

      Thanks James for the invitation to have a seat. I think your
      face would make a comfortable spot to sit. Since you sound like you love to stir up crap, feel free to dislodge some when I plant my ass firmly on your face. Bon appetite.

  6. Dennis

    I’m going to have to play Devil’s Advocate first. When one takes the opportunity to play around on these apps. One is putting their own privacy in the hands of others. You have to accept that fact up front. You can’t claim “I didn’t know better.”

    Now that said, I fully agree that it was an unacceptable invasion of privacy. It was a violation of any kind of journalistic ethics and morals. Especially in the cases of those who live in countries that are ambivalent to LGBT rights, or actively are a threat to those who are LGBT.

    But claiming ignorance is not an excuse.

    • Corbin

      You are despicable. Some of those closet cases are from countries which will KILL GAYS for just being gay. How good of you to embrace your hate and gloat from your safe space. So shameful.

    • Jeff

      in some countried they have no CHOICE…so endangering someones life to have fun and out them is disgustiing…if it was you who could be executed for being gay you would feel differently…glad you never had a bad experience being gay….

    • Conquistador007

      You are no better than the idiotic and immoral journalist with your comment..
      Have u no respect for a person’s right to privacy? If one chooses not to reveal his/her sexual orientation to the world then that is their God given right and we need to be respectful of that right.. PERIOD.. Neither you or this journalist have the right to invade or deprive anyone of their right to keep a low profile.. LEARN TO BE MORE RESPECTFUL OF YOUR FELLOW MAN..

      The sooner u understand this concept, the better.. Who knows, u may even become a decent member of society.. There’s a first for everything..

    • Dave

      I’m sure your family will accept that you are gay Mike. And you should really stop using the word “hate” in your public blogs. Too strong of a word for someone who is fully “Out” to the world.

  7. JOhn

    it’s the fact that he put people in grave danger depending where they are from, it’s unforgivable. Maybe he is gay himself is my thought, since he knew where to place ads, how would he like it if they’d done this to him or his family? We choose when to come out in this crazy world, we don’t need fools like him or his god the dollar

  8. David Denmark

    The utter disregard for people’s right to privacy and the ramifications of such a piece, is a testament to the literary standards that have fallen to the wayside as an institution, and just another instance of entertainment value, sensationalism, and the erosion of character in our media today! “Oh who cares? We can print a retraction or do an update on page 10, if we don’t get anything right!” SORRY, doesn’t cut it or heal real wounds!

  9. Joey

    This man is despicable. I pray that karma follows him until the end of time for the pain he has caused these wonderful young athletes. I pray these athletes feel the love and strength we the LGBTQ community of the world send out to them with our hopes for safe passage through life and should the burdens become to heavy, remember the drive and determination that brought you to the Olympics will help to see you through. And remember, Team USA and many others would gladly have you on our team.

  10. Corbin

    Some of us need to remember that MOST of the world isn’t safe for out gay people. You may be fined, imprisoned, or executed for just being gay. In some countries you could be imprisoned or executed for being associated with a gay person and not reporting him or her. Not everywhere is safe to come out and that’s why is up to the individual person to decide when and where or if to come out.

  11. Chic

    I know the focus here is ‘outing’ these athletes, but this POS reporter seems to forget these are kids, young kids from all over the world, and this adults behavior is disgusting.

    These youngsters focused on sports for years to get to Rio, this Jerk has put the kids in a bad position. He should have been an adult instead of an ass.

  12. Andrew

    Whilst i can definitely understand the comment that when one puts themselves on an app such as grindr you are putting yourself out there, I do think it is important to try to imagine what it is like for an 18 year old. I suspect that for many of us, at that age, we did not have access to the kind of technology that exists nowadays when we were that age and yet still took a few risks as our burgeoning sexuality fought to be heard and satiated-is it really that different?

    For those that come from countries where your sexual preference can result in absolutely horrific treatment my sympathy goes out to them-I definitely fall into that category. The olympics might be the one time in your life that you can, surrounded by hormones and bodies impossible to ignore, experiment a little when much of your life in training is repressed and must feel like being in a pressure cooker; you only have to look at Ian Thorpe to see the damage that being in the closet can do and ‘hating closet cases’ as one contributor eloquently put it is surely not the answer.-has the hate that we have experienced recently in Orlando not taught you anything.Not all of us have the luxury of being able to come out at that age and OWN it..and if you happen to be a minority within the gay minority, there are hurdles that are unimaginable to many

    I would like to see mr (straight)Journalist standing up proud and taking responsibility for his despicable actions but strangely enough he has chosen to hide(that and/or is being protected which speaks volumes

  13. Jyre

    Good opportunity to show the public that journalists have ethical duties…. Nico Hines was willing to risk the lives of these folks, getting fired will give a taste of the vulnerability imposed, eh?

  14. Spenser

    Hines should be stripped of his credentials and sent home. And the Daily Beast should be sanctioned for not supervising their dog properly. this is deplorable.

  15. Kind.buds

    I don’t know which is worse, the initial act — which was probably poorly thought through and now recognized as a mistake by all those involved –or people’s disgusting comments justifying it.

  16. Christian

    Just from reading this blog my opinion is Nico Hines is a total scumbag. Daily Beast shouldn’t have even CONSIDERED printing it even with names etc removed from it. Reminds me of the scumbag reporter that tried to put a gay spin on an interview he did with Kevin Spacey for Esquire back in the ’90’s. Shame SHAME on you Nico. You’re a douche.

  17. Michael McCarthy

    This man is a horrific example of a so called journalist. He puts the lives of gay men and women in his hands to do what? To out? Who do you think you are? You should be stripped of any credential you might have but also any media buying your rubbish should be ashamed. You sir are a coward and a bully and represent nothing about the Olympic games. Please go so far away that we might never hear from you again…actually I think Trump needs an ahole like you!

  18. sadworld

    This is so sad. And to see someone actually said ” good i hate closet cases” is just even worst!!!

    People can be so sick!! Some of us are not closetted by choice folks. Yes playing around on the app risks your privacy, but what are we to do when being openly gay means getting your throat cut, get gunned down, beaten to death,stoned, set on fire or hanged????? Even by your love ones….

    I sit here with this disturbing feeling in my ghut although im not a victim, but one can only imagine how these guys feel, knowing that they may have well just signed their death certificate and living their last few days. Some may not even return home, in fear of what’s to come.

    He may not have called names, but providing discriptions sure does set filters… add rumors/asumptions and hell unleashes, may even be for an innocent person.

    I hope this pig dies a horrible death and all those who side with him….

  19. leonardlucas

    Not only do these athletes travel hundreds of miles away from their home countries to compete, but they actually get to be gay for once- they’re able to relax, breathe, and even explore their sexuality without worrying about the repercussions that would take place if they were still back home. I don’t know who Nico Hines thinks he is, but one would expect that whatever credentials and experience he had in journalism would clue him in on the fact that people’s lives would be put in jeopardy the moment that article was published. The fact its since been taken down is too little, too late because the internet is a very big place. I’m with everybody else who thinks that a) The Daily Beast needs to lose their olympic credentials, and b) Nico Hines shouldn’t have a job. If anything happens to these athletes when they return home as a result of this, their blood is on their hands. And last time I checked, karma can be a bitch.

  20. Barack

    Who really cares about this .. Why is this news? Those apps are for anyone to use.. If you are an Olympian athlete at the olympics why are you looking to hook up? Represent your country not your gay appetite for a hook up. Lol

  21. Cory

    Hines has made his bed, now he has to lie in it. He has shown a gross disregard for responsible journalism, which should be sufficient enough to make him a pariah among all media outlets. I believe he should have his credentials pulled, but he should also be taken into custody, pending the outcome of the athletes’ return home. If any of them are hurt or killed by their families or governments, he needs to be punished, as an accessory, by the international courts.

  22. Lowell

    Mike some people ,depending on their own situation have no choice,not everyone is lucky enough to live in a modern country.

  23. dale smith

    It’s hard to render an opinion without having read the controversial article in question. In general I don’t like outing. It reduces being gay merely to whom we fuck. The reality of behind gay is not so simplistic

  24. jt

    can’t get it both ways….you want to destroy business with freedom of the press? then if you are in a country that frowns on your choices, either deal wth it or defect. Live with your choices men!! I know you hate that in your face, but it’s the risk you take putting your dick needs on line!

  25. Eddie

    if you clicked install on these apps then created a profile blank or not and you’re at a high profile event like the olympics you should know that your privacy how ever personal is to you has already be compromised by you. if you can’t come out because of what ever reason delete the app before going and return to the app once you get home. The grave danger is always present there could be something worse than a reporter on the other side of that screen.

    As far as making this making print don’t call for the reporter to be ousted call for the editor. he more than like approved the story and it’s release. quit letting the puppet master get away with it while cutting the strings of the puppet

  26. Jimmy

    Now this is as low as you can go. As a journalist, stooping to such means to “out” anyone without their permission or an exclusive cover is just downright wrong. The Beast is a daily beast and we should be boycotting them as well. As for the journalist, he should never be able to cover any events again for a while and let the economics of this hurt him in the pocket. I want to see his face since he is so ready to out everyone. I show mine on here when I am good and ready and so should he. Issue an apology you coward.

  27. Goldenlover

    Nico should get the boot from the olympics revoked and sent home. That rag he works for and his bosses who allowed this him to do this should have their backgrounds and past history unearthed. I hope when he gets home i hope some gay strong men catch up with him and put a royal ASS KICKING on him. and then turn him into a sub bottom bitch whether he wants it or not and then post it out on the web for all to see. Just so that he will feel the shame that those outed felt when they found out what had been done to them. and that shitty magazine should sponsor that guy from Kazakhstan to come to the US and give him a sizable cash payment so than he can start his life over here in the greatest country in the world

  28. Phil

    I am appalled that someone could do something like this. It is unconscionable!! What kind of a society have we become when we will go to any length to get a story, get a scoop, to beat the others, to get ahead while having absolutely no regard for human decency. This so-called journalist has put people in danger, serious danger because of where they come from. He should be stripped of his Olympic credentials and his name should be on the top of every “do not hire” list for any respectable and reputable news outlet. Damn him!!

  29. Blake

    Well unfortunately since this blog has censorship. Any comments that do agree with them will be deleted. So if a reporter wants or needs a story bad enough. Anything goes apparently.

  30. David

    You Dam right they should,and not only that he should be fired and not a lower any were near the games ever agin. People like this should be the one that should be made an example of that things like this should never be a lower to happen and if anything happens to the ones he outed he should be convicted a log with the gilty party’s as a conspearter.

  31. Matt

    Until the world realizes the true number of gay and bisexual people, there will likely be an alarming amount of people standing against us. Some minds will never be swayed, but perhaps more minds could change if the perception wasn’t “its only like 1% of he population” or “it could never be my son, daughter, brother, sister, cousin, friend, barber, etc”.

  32. Dave

    Nico Hines should be fired from the Daily Beast and anyone at the Daily Beast who approved that article to go public. Putting others in danger for whatever reason is wrong and Nico needs to learn this. Fact is, he may now be in danger from all the people he has outraged. Watch your back Nico.

  33. Lincoln

    I am not condoning outing anyone, especially those who come from countries where it is illegal to be gay. However, you’re an athlete on an Olympic team. You are a celebrity known around the world. Have some common sense. You don’t attend the biggest sporting event in the world and expect to be able to pop on Grindr with any form of privacy. Was the writer in the wrong? Sure. He should be terminated and blacklisted from any major publications. He put lives at risk. However, we all can’t be ignorant to not acknowledge that the athletes were just as reckless and put themselves in this position.

  34. Kevin

    I think it should be considered as wreck less endangerment and he should be arrested and fired – if not from his job (preferable) then, at least from any further Olympics coverage.
    His folly was So unabashedly wreck less with no thought of anything but his enormous ego, which, unfortunately, doesn’t have ethics or intelligence to accompany it.
    Who knows, maybe that Khasakstanian athlete won’t be able to go home after this or if so, fear for his life.?

  35. Mark

    Absolute sleeze. I hope they author and publisher fee proud of themselves. I’m a gay guy and being gay was not a choice I made and “outing” gays who live in countries where the effects could be terrible harmful to the individual It’s a very difficult to come “out” especially for those in situations such as sports. These athletes have worked their lives to compete in an event such as the Olympics and doing something like this not only places them in harm it surely affects their ability to compete in their sport. I hope you are proud!

    • vincent Camarda

      Then why are you on a gay booty call site? Any effort to prove your heterisexuality will be laughed at. Besides..yo gave your response to a post that gave no reason to think he was talking about your sexuality. You are SOO in the closet… Moron

  36. TMarkyIU

    This is why I will not post my photo “up front” on these sites and apps. There are too many crazy people in the world these days. It might limit the responses I receive, but in turn I can usually tell if a person is “legit” fairly quickly in a short chat.

    It is a shame they may be at risk upon returning to their home countries. No one deserves to be punished because of their sexual preference.

  37. Lincoln

    Censorship is strong here. Can’t post an actual legitimate response that isn’t derogatory at all. What a fucking joke of a blog.

  38. Jeff

    It’s crazy the Journalism in general don’t look at the big picture. the industry looking for rating and don’t care about the fall out. Were was Hines editor to stop this before it was posted

  39. Spike

    Not only should this Straight outta hell reporter be removed from The Daily Beast, but he should have his career flushed down the toilet and banned from ever writing anything but a handwritten letter to his family, if he has any, only. He should never be allowed to work as a reporter of any kind ever again for the rest of his pathetic life.


    Get this low-life off the beat and away from our sper champs he intends to harm Take his pSSPORT AND SEND HIM PACKING,PERIOD!

    • Paul

      Maybe if one of the athletes he “outed” faces jail, or persecution back at home…will that make you get interested in it?

  41. Xxtxtocleoh

    What’s funny is gay people do this to others on a regular, especially when they get shut down by someone they’re interested in. They want to go off and run their mouths about who is gay and where they were at and what they were doing just to be catty and bitter.

  42. NslashA

    @James: i think anybody outing somebody else, whether that person doing the outing is gay ir straight is absolutely uncalled for and wrong. I could care less about the sexual orientation of the person doing it, the only person that has the right to do that is that person themselves.

    @Mike: i can agree with you that people who are out in the fact that they only have sex with men, frequent gay establishments but refuse to tell the people closest in their life the truth can be frustrating, however, that is their right as a human being to make the choices in their life that they deem to be best. If they annoy you that much, then simply do not engage with them.

    Bottom line: nobody should have the right to force people to live their life in a way they don’t want to.

  43. P.E.

    To quote the Red Queen from Alice, “Off with his [Hines’s] head!” Stupid, little media ignoramus, a despicable piece of excrement, with no sense of responsibility or of humanity, and exactly the sort of American which makes us ur-Americans cringe in disgust and embarrassment. And @JAMES and @MIKE: Your comments are those of unempathetic, ignorant nitwits.

  44. okzebra

    What a media whore craving fame and driven by relentless ambition. I think the best thing to be done is yank his press credentials, don’t give him any Daily Beast postings, and let the smarmy unctuous creature find another job. It is absolutely cruel, insensitive, and ignorant to use a closeted person from an intolerant country in the name of fame in such a way as to put that person’s life at risk.


  45. DC

    Calling Nico Hines a “Journalist” is a stretch. He works for The Daiky Beast which is an online non-mainstream publication. Probably because he couldn’t get a job at a real media outlet.

  46. R

    While it is true that app users take a chance, in most cases the concept of self-revealing and mutual risk serves to deter. You know, where someone says he saw someone else at a certain site, actually reveals he was there himself. The revealing of any information about anyone is the choice of the individual, not of a second or third party. Nobody but the oerson himself knows the impact it will have in his unique circumstances. Someone who has an open lifestyle can reveal anything about himself and nobody cares, as they can’t affect him. But the person whose livelihood, social support, and safety depend on discretion, cannot afford to get blindsided. You know how people are. Instead of realizing he was secretive because of people’s attitudes, these people will call him a sneak and destroy him.
    A reporter especially should know that, but today, he thinks his job is to make noise, not report news. He wants the reality TV living soap drama. Shameless.
    You do realize, the terms of service on any social site forbid obtaining information under false pretenses, or harassing or interfering with another user. The sites can sue. And since the reporter acted as one without revealing he was one, he isn’t immune. Further, for dissemination information without a press release, he can get sued again. Pretty bad business, all around.

  47. AbsolutelySure

    I think every person has the right to decide how he/she will announce his/her sexual preference; however, if you put your personal information on the Internet, including dating apps, do you really expect it not to fall into “unethical hands”? Perhaps this is why some A4A users don’t post pictures… just saying.

  48. DingerMcB

    Placing someone else’s private life in print just or financial gain to get a story is just plain sleazy.. but to wrecklessly place someone’s life in danger is inexcusable. This guy not only has no credentials to be a good journalist but also has no work ethics at all.. only a sleaze ball could be so invasive , abrasive, and arrogant.

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