On Aug. 11, reporter Nico Hines and the Daily Beast decided to write what they thought was a fun, click-bait story from the Olympic village in Rio.
"I Got Three Grindr Dates in an Hour at the Olympic Village" read the headline on the article, which was the site's most-read story that day. Hines regaled his readers with a tale of a straight guy posing as gay on Grindr and came to this conclusion: Young, athletic men like having sex. Stop the presses!
The article had one major problem: It gave enough identifying information to out some gay athletes, including people who live in countries where being gay is a crime.
The Daily Beast revised the initial story to remove some of the worst parts but took the entire day to unpublish it, and only after an international outcry on social media. Even the International Olympic Committee, not normally a bastion of progressive thought, condemned the article.
For shamefully outing gay athletes and for a woeful followup response, Outsports names Nico Hines and the top editors at the Daily Beast as our Assholes of the Year.
It has been more than four months since the article first appeared and since then two things have NOT happened:
- Hines has yet to publicly apologize. His last post on Twitter was Aug. 10, a day before the article appeared.
- The Daily Beast has not issued a post-mortem on how the story wound up being published. As I've written before: The Daily Beast needs to explain its editorial process — whose idea was it for the story? How many editors read it before it was published? Who made the final decision to hit "publish"? Who OK'd the headline? Were any LGBT Daily Beast staffers consulted on the merits of the story prior to publication? Why did it take all day to delete the story? Was Hines or any other staffer punished? What safeguards are in place to ensure this doesn't happen again?
The Daily Beast committed a huge error and compounded it by not coming clean on how it all happened. It was a shameful episode and the LGBT sports community will not forget.
Curt Schilling: Until Hines and the Daily Beast beat him out, Schilling had this prize wrapped up. In April, Schilling shared on Facebook a disgusting anti-trans post. He then lied about it and later was deservedly fired by ESPN.
North Carolina Republicans: With the passage of the anti-LGBT House Bill 2, the Republicans in the state House, Senate along with Gov. Pat McCrory became a symbol of intolerance. The state’s economy took a hit as businesses and tourists stayed away and the sports world was forced to choose a side — LGBT acceptance or bigotry. The NBA moved its All-Star Game and the ACC its college football title game from Charlotte and numerous colleges prohibited their sports teams from playing in the state. Gov. Pat McCrory, who signed the bill, was defeated for reelection and the fate of the law is unclear.