English football legend and TV personality Gary Lineker has apologised for ridiculing the All Blacks haka after he received backlash on social media, including from New Zealand media personality John Campbell.
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"It's extraordinary, a generation into the 21st century, that even people as (reputedly) thoughtful as Lineker can peddle this kind of contempt," Campbell said on Twitter. "Grow up."
Campbell's comments were in response to an earlier post by Lineker, who said it "must be so hard for the opposition to not laugh" at the haka.
Lineker has since deleted the post, saying "it wasn't intended that way in the slightest".
"I was just wondering why as an opposing sportsmen [sic] it would be in anyway intimidating after seeing it for so many years," he replied to Campbell. "I should have probably phrased it that way."
Lineker's comments came after Irish sportswriter Ewan MacKenna called for World Rugby to ban the haka last week, claiming it gives the All Blacks an "unfair advantage".
"There's a practical reason why the haka shouldn't happen as, while it provides a psychological edge through self-inspiration and via an attempt at opponent intimidation, it also provides a small physical edge, as others are forced to stand still and go briefly cold," he claimed.
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