US commentator and former television host Joe Rogan has apologised to any offended New Zealanders after calling the haka "stupid" in one of his latest podcasts.
The actor and MMA expert took aim at the traditional Maori war cry in an interview with actor Hannibal Buress.
The pair were discussing the ability to control the state of the mind when Rogan questioned why native Americans would perform a war cry before battle.
"There is the video of them [the New Zealand Basketball team] playing the USA team, they're doing this elaborate thing and just energetic. They cut to the USA team and they looked confused," Buress said.
Joe Rogan then cut in, and asked: "They're doing it in a basketball game?
"This is ridiculous, they're playing basketball. You're playing NBA superstars you dummies. It seems stupid. If you're playing basketball it's stupid.
"It's a performance art. The other players clapped. They're like 'good job children!'.
Rogan today apologised on Instagram to anyone he 'pissed off' with his comments.
"I got a bunch of messages today from people in New Zealand pissed off that I made fun of people doing the haka at a basketball game," said Rogan.
"For the record, before I apologize to anyone I offended I just want you all to know that I've also called it 'one of the dopest war dances the world has ever known'.
"I was just making fun of the fact that they were doing it at a basketball game and that the American players they were competing with were staring at them looking kinda confused. On my podcast we make fun of a lot of shit. We get high, we get silly and we try to be funny. If I thought that many people from New Zealand would get pissed off I would have never said it, or I would have tried to make fun of the situation in a more respectful way.
"Being American I'm ignorant to what the Haka means to the culture of the people of New Zealand, and unfortunately I pissed some people off by joking around, and for that I sincerely apologize. What's really fucked up about it is that I actually think the Haka is amazing and we';ve talked about it being a pretty incredible thing to watch many times. I was just making fun of one moment where it looked out of place in a basketball game. My sincerest apologies to the people of New Zealand.
Rogan and Buress pointed fun at the Tall Blacks' performance, questioning their reasoning for doing the haka despite the fact they'd likely get thoroughly beaten by the USA.
The cultural advisor for the Tall Blacks, Paora Winitana, helped create the new Tall Blacks haka, and says that Rogan's comments are an opportunity to display their culture and history.
"When you get situations like this where people don't know what it's about, it creates an awesome opportunity to teach.
"It displays our history as a Tall Black team - in terms of where we've come from, the vision and goals for the future, it's all incorporated in our haka.
"If they are willing to take the time out to listen and learn, then they'll realise this is just more than something they do before a game, it's about who we are as a people."