AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 15: Former All Black and Rugby League player Matthew Ridge watches play during day three of the 2020 Men's ASB Classic at ASB Tennis Centre on January 15, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. | Greg Bowker/Getty Images

Matthew Ridge, a former pro athlete in rugby, is using gay slurs proudly. And he says he won’t stop.

That’s the takeaway from Ridge during his appearance on a recent podcast.

David Ring, apparently a gay man, is the other person on the podcast. When he asserts during their chatter about using the term “gay” or “homosexual” that the latter sounds like a disease, Ridge essentially said that being gay would be a terrible disease to contract.

“Oh my god, yeah, shoot me,” Ridge said. “That would be real bad.”

For years I’ve thanked god I’m gay. Being gay is the best thing that ever happened to me.

It takes a homophobe like Ridge to turn it into some horrific disease. Awful. And Ring? To embrace the use of anti-gay slurs?

He said Ridge couldn’t be “canceled” (whatever that means) “because I’m here, and I’m not getting offended.”

Ummmmmmmm… Ridge’s comments are now in the pantheon of awful-stuff-pro-athletes-have-said.

The two also dove into the nonsense about children en masse suddenly identifying as cats and wanting to use kitty litter. As though this has anything to do with reality, or anything to do with the LGBTQ community.

In. Sane.

Ridge tries to use his mother being gay as a shield. Yet his comments are truly horrific.

Who is Matthew Ridge?

Matthew Ridge is a former professional athlete in both rugby league and rugby union. While not a perfect comparison, the difference between the two is somewhat like the five-on-five basketball Americans are used to, and the 3×3 basketball that’s gaining popularity and will be in the Paris Summer Olympics.

He represented New Zealand — with its storied history in rugby — on the international stage, captaining the 1995 World Cup team that took home a bronze medal.

Ridge played professional rugby in Australia, first with the Manly Sea Eagles and then the Auckland Warriors.