All Blacks great Zinzan Brooke's apparent stance on COVID-19 lockdowns and mask usage has been met with cynicism on social media, following a string of tweets last weekend.
Now living in the UK, 56-year-old Brooke came out as an apparent 'anti-masker', seeming to disagree with protective measures against the spread of COVID-19, in particular the use of masks and lockdowns.
Brooke, who played 58 Tests for the All Blacks, retweeted a post that lamented the UK's most recent lockdown, claiming that the next generation of sporting and music icons' development is being stunted.
"The next Ronaldo hasn't played football in a year. The next Wayne Gretzky hasn't stepped onto the ice. The next Kurt Cobain hasn't performed at the local open mic," said Gareth Icke.
Gareth Icke is a UK musician turned conspiracy theorist, and is the son of David Icke, a former UK sports personality - also a conspiracy theorist.
"It's about destroying independent income & making us dependent. But it's also about destroying everything wonderful."
"Well said mate," Brooke responded. "I have 6 that are stuck at home instead they should be on the rugby pitches, Netball courts, football and hockey fields and in the dancing studios. Insanity."
Brooke also weighed in on the usage of masks among children, agreeing with one tweet saying there wasn't "a shred of evidence," in favour.
However, fellow users have made it clear that they disagree with Brooke's viewpoint, responding with:
"If you put anything in front of your face that lessens the distance your breath travels and also filters to any degree what's going in and out, it will lessen the spread of the virus," wrote Max Power.
"How can you be anti something you don't understand?"
"Really disappointed to see this stance from you," said user Chlo-Mo. "Just say that you think sports are more important than preventing death and long term illness."
"Stick to rugby zinny," added user Clarity. "Leave the science to the experts . With respect, cos your (sic) a rugby legend, & I'm a kiwi."
The UK has been particularly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than three million cases and 120,000 deaths.