‘Harden up, blokes of today’: Rugby commentator Keith Quinn slammed for ‘harmful’ tweet

Legendary New Zealand rugby commentator Keith Quinn has caused controversy on Twitter today, with a post telling New Zealand men to “harden up”.

“What’s happening to bloke- ism? In the TV news the last few days Dustin Johnson, Lewis Hamilton & Puma rugby players & coach all crying their eyes out. Would the sight of All Blacks wearing pink boots have moved Pinetree Meads? I doubt it. Harden up – blokes of today,” the broadcaster posted on Twitter this evening.

New Zealanders were quick to shut his message down, including Sir John Kirwan.

While not directly replying to Quinn’s tweet, Kirwan’s post made his stance clear: “My highlight from the weekend was the team and Mario Ledesma crying, made me cry. Beautiful,” he wrote.

Dozens of other Kiwi Twitter users replied to Quinn’s tweet expressing their disappointment at his views.

“No Keith you’ve got this exactly backwards,” one Twitter user replied. “It’s great to see top sportsmen unafraid to express emotion, and explicitly rejecting the ‘harden up’ ethos of years gone by. More of this please.”

“This makes me really sad. I grew up watching rugby with my Dad by my side and you in our ears. Dad’s gone now but he was learning to mellow as he aged and be less repressed about his feelings. I hope you can learn that too,” another Kiwi said.

Other users pointed out that many in rugby have been working hard to move away from the “boys don’t cry” message, including John Kirwan.

“I’m very much hoping that bloke-ism is becoming just an unfortunate and damaging part of our history. One that future generations will look on with scorn and pity,” someone else said. “I’m sorry that you have been unable to move past that culture.”

The backlash came from Twitter users of all genders, who pointed out the importance of rejecting “toxic masculinity”.

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