Gary Lineker, 58, was met with criticism after he expressed his views on the Haka, performed by the New Zealand rugby All Backs team before their matches.
The Haka is a type of ancient Māori war dance, traditionally used on the battlefield and when groups came together in peace. Fiji, Tonga and Samoa also do their own versions of the traditional dance before their matches.
Gary addressed the dance on Twitter and said it must be “hard” for their opponents on the field to not “laugh” when they are performing.
He shared a video of the dance posted on the official Rugby World Cup’s Twitter account.
They wrote: “HAKA! Crowd cheers as @AllBlacks lay down challenge to Canada with powerful Haka #RWC2019 #NZLvCAN.”
Gary replied to their post: “Must be so hard not to just laugh at this if you’re the opposition.”
Rugby World Cup replied to Gary: “But they have won the World Cup three times…one would be nice eh?” alongside a laughing emoji.
Many of Gary’s 7.4 million followers replied, with the majority hitting out at Gary, telling him to delete his tweet, claiming what he said was “disrespectful”.
One Twitter user said: “I’d delete this one Gary, if you don't understand the culture behind it… this can been seen as disrespectful.”
Another commented: “The fact that Lineker doesn't see this post as racist is frightening. Hang your head in shame Gary.”
A third said: “I am a big fan of your comments generally Gary, but you’ve called this one wrong. The Haka is an important part of New Zealand culture and widely respected by opposition teams and supporters. It adds hugely to the sense of occasion too.”
Jake Buckley, an Australian commentator, tweeted Gary: “Wow a s**t tweet from Gary Lineker never thought I'd see the day. Nothing the English do holds a candle to the Haka.”
Gary replied back: "Just a bit bored by it now. How would a dance in anyway intimidate a sportsman. Their rugby ability is another matter entirely but the Haka.... nah.”
Piers Morgan, who presents Good Morning Britain, also had his say on Gary’s comment, and said it was “weird” he would mock the dance.
He wrote: “Harder not to laugh at Spurs, on balance. The Haka is one of the greatest spectacles in sport, and of huge cultural importance in New Zealand. Weird that you would mock it.”
Gary wrote back: “I think it’s fun and totally understand the cultural significance but just don’t think it would intimidate top level sportsmen. Their rugby however is another matter entirely.”
Elsewhere, New Zealand scored nine tries to thrash Canada today and have now moved up to second in Pool B, one point behind Italy.
The All Blacks are now favourite to win the World Cup after the impressive match.
"It might of been a straightforward assignment for New Zealand against Canada but the manner of the performance was impressive nevertheless and we have trimmed their odds. They are now just evens to make it three World Cups in a row," said Coral's Harry Aitkenhead.
"England are next best, according to the odds, whilst Wales' strong start has seen them come into single figures odds and they can't be ruled out."