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Nico Hines offers an academic ‘apology’ for outing Olympians, seven months too late

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A delayed apology without empathy is little more than a press release.

Previews - Winter Olympics Day -5 Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

Seven months.

It took you, Nico Hines, over seven months to issue any kind of statement or apology for carelessly outing gay and bisexual Olympians, some of whom may have been from countries that banned homosexuality. Yesterday you finally said something.

Sorry, Mr. Hines. Your apology may have some of the right words, but taking seven months to write those nine paragraphs isn’t enough and never will be.

It took you less than seven days to write your ill-advised piece taking aim at LGBT Olympians.

Over seven months for an apology? No.

I’m almost always the guy very ready, willing and able to accept an apology or an explanation. People make mistakes, I get it. My willingness to move on has even led some people to call me “homophobic” or, my favorite, “self-hating.”

I’ve made mistakes more than once. I’ve done things I shouldn’t have done, said things I didn’t even think.

My apologies were always from the heart and immediate. When I know I screwed up, I just want to make it right not to save face, but because I truly regret hurting someone else with what I did.

I certainly don’t take seven months to admit my mistake and apologize.

I also offer some kind of emotional connection to my mistake. When I hurt other people, I feel some semblance of pain for having done so. It’s called empathy.

Your apology is a clinical examination of what an apology should look like. You say you’re “sorry,” you say you’re “deeply sorry,” and you say you’re “truly sorry.”

Yet I don’t get the sense from your very academically planned words that you feel any of that. I get that you’re sorry you got caught, but an apology without empathy is little more than a press release.

I understand your editors may have put you up to this. If you ever wanted to write in this town again, you had to say something. Maybe they even told you to not say anything for seven months. If they did, you should fire them.

This could have largely been avoided by an empathetic, heart-felt apology last August. Taking a brief leave of absence, engaging in some soul-searching, this could have all been put to bed months ago, and the LGBT community could have felt it was heard.

Now it just looks like you wanted your job back and had to put out this academic press release to get there.

You let this fester for the better part of a year. You offered no empathy in your apology.

I’ll continue to wait for a real one.