Openly Gay Olympic Swimmer Says ‘Daily Beast Should Be Ashamed’

Amini Fonua, who represents Tonga in Rio, calls the website’s outing of gay athletes “deplorable”

Last Updated: August 12, 2016 @ 11:43 AM

A straight, married writer for the Daily Beast has sparked outrage by luring gay (and closeted) athletes using dating apps for an article about how easy it is to hook up at the Olympic Games.

Nico Hines’ article “The Other Olympic Sport in Rio: Swiping” was removed from the site on Thursday night and replaced with an editor’s note that stated in part, “We were wrong. We will do better.”

However, the backpedaling did nothing to quell the backlash, and one openly gay Olympic swimmer shared his anger over the “deplorable” column.

“As an out gay athlete from a country that is still very homophobic, @thedailybeast ought to be ashamed,” Amini Fonua, who is representing Tonga, wrote on Twitter Thursday.

In a far more blunt message apparently aimed at Hines, Fonua wrote: “You f—ing disgust me. Do you realize how many people’s lives you just ruined without any good reason but clickbait journalism?” he asked.

“Some of these people you just outed are my FRIENDS. With family and lives that are forever going to be affected by this.”

Fonua — who competes Saturday in the men’s 100-meter breaststroke and is one of only two openly gay swimmers currently competing in Rio, according to OutSports — also posted a very clear message to the shamed journalist via Instagram, basically telling him to kiss his “hot ass.”

Among the passages in the article was this one:

“Perhaps the question most people have is: How do the rest of us get an invite? Can an Average Joe join the bacchanalia?

“After 60 minutes in the Olympic Village on Tuesday evening, I’m surprised to say that the answer is ‘yes.’

“Armed with a range of dating and hookup apps — Bumble, Grindr, Jack’d and Tinder — your distinctly non-Olympian correspondent had scored three dates in the first hour.”

He also included just enough clues that anyone with an Internet connection could figure who these athletes are.

The Note From the Editor that replaced the article reads:

“As shared in our editor’s note earlier today, we initially thought swift removal of any identifying characteristics and better clarification of our intent was the adequate way to address this. Our initial reaction was that the entire removal of the piece was not necessary. We were wrong. We’re sorry.

“Today we did not uphold a deep set of The Daily Beast’s values. 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.”

Click here for the full apology and see Fonua’s tweets and cheeky Instagram post below.

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