Call to sack women commentators over World Cup try description was a 'joke', says colleague
Veteran rugby commentator Keith Quinn has clarified that his call to sack two female commentators was "a joke".
Quinn took to Twitter to criticise the way in which Spark Sport's Kimberlee Downs and Sky Sports' Kate King described New Zealand's TJ Perenara wonder try against Namibia.
The two women said the score was "rugby league-esque". Downs, who was pitch-side for the match, said live on air: "How sensational - that was almost rugby league-esque, wasn't it?".
Quinn criticised the pair on Twitter by saying: "Great try and superb pic but two reporters on TVNZ and Sky NZ later [compared it to]... 'great rugby league tries!' Whaaat? Sack those two women (I have their names!)."
This sparked controversy on the social media platform with other commentators wading in on the debate.
Downs' Spark Sport colleague Scotty Stevenson replied to Quinn by tweeting: "Excuse me? “Those two women” are entitled to describe that play in any way they see fit, and offending your sensibilities is thankfully not a sackable offence."
The backlash has meant that Quinn, who was a long-time commentator for Spark Sport, has had to explain that his tweet was "a joke".
He tweeted: "My tweet last night re the TJ Perenara try was meant to be a joke about rugby union v rugby league. TJs try was a great rugby union try at a Rugby Union World Cup. (I should have put 'lol' on the tweet.)"
The try in question was one of 11 that New Zealand scored. They dominated Namibia to a 71-9 victory. Perenara's try is being hailed as the score of the tournament so far.