Gay Olympian From ‘Very Homophobic’ Tonga, Slams Article Outing Gay Olympic Athletes Using Grindr

Openly gay Tongan athlete Amini Fonua issued a sharp condemnation on Thursday to a horribly irresponsible and exploitative Daily Beast story on athletes’ use of sex apps in Rio that might have outed gay athletes.

[RELATED: Olympic Silver Medalist Gus Kenworthy Condemns Journalist For Outing Closeted Athletes In Rio]

Fonua, an Olympic swimmer who competed in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke, blasted Nico Hines’ article on Twitter:

Hines, who is married to a woman and is a father, downloaded Grindr to entrap multiple LGBT athletes who were looking to have sex in the Rio Olympic Village so he could “report” about their Grindr usage for The Daily Beast.

He included the heights, weights and countries of origin of several athletes whom he claims to have arranged dates with in the piece.

MIC.com’s Mathew Rodriguez notes that one of the athletes Hines endangered was an Olympian from Central Asia, a region in which LGBT people are “marginalized, criminalized, and are exposed to high levels of violence, harassment and discrimination,” according to one U.S. congressman’s testimony.

Rodriguez adds:

In this pseudo-ethnographic piece, Hines has failed at meeting one of journalism’s central tenets. For reference, the Society of Professional Journalists’ code of ethics has an entire section on “minimizing harm.” In it, SPJ says, “Ethical journalism treats sources, subjects, colleagues and members of the public as human beings deserving of respect.”

Hines chose to use “surreptitious methods,” but delivered no vital information in this article. His piece doesn’t respect his subjects: It mocks gay people and treats them like zoo animals behind a glass barrier.
[UPDATE: Daily Beast Removes Article Outing Closeted Olympic Athletes Using Grindr After Backlash]