‘He is confident in himself’: Row rages over masculinity after ‘sexy’ NBA star Russell Westbrook causes stir by wearing a skirt

An NBA great has proudly posed in an eye-catching skirt for a fashion shoot, causing some to praise him for "taking risks" and looking "incredibly masculine" in a fierce ensuing debate.

Nine-time NBA All-Star Russell Westbrook stood in a cream jacket, long white skirt and black boots on a city street as he showed off his unusual choice of clothing, further demonstrating a taste for daring clothes while unwittingly earning comparisons to Scottish kilts.

The Los Angeles Lakers point guard alluded to wanting to be known as the 'goat' – an acronym for 'greatest of all time' – by quoting a lyric by rapper Kendrick Lamar, "don’t address me unless it’s with four letters”.

Religious viewers questioned whether his choice of attire was appropriate with with scriptures, and others argued that traditional gender clothing choices are no longer relevant.

"Shout out to my brother for always being him, not being afraid and taking risks most wouldn't," said PJ Tucker, of the Miami Heat, in praise that was not shared by everyone.

"Bro, what are you wearing?" asked one of Westbrook's millions of followers on social media. "Respectfully, take that off."

Some observers were keen to give their take on what they perceived as the underlying issues.

"Comfort in his masculinity means that despite partaking in what society considers feminine – it's actually not feminine, but thats a different topic – he is confident in himself that he is still just as much of a man despite what bullies may say," said one.

"Who said dresses were only for females and feminine?" another asked. "Not god.

"Dresses being feminine was a short-lived American fad and other cultures have embraced them for centuries for men."

One of 32-year-old Westbrook's keener admirers was attracted to the bold look.

"As a woman, let me tell you... he looks incredibly hot and very, very male to me," they said.

A man replied: "I didn't think of it as feminine at all. It was like he was a Sufi mystic or a really hip priest on a high holy day.

"Honestly, he looks proud, like a panther, and incredibly masculine. It's sexy and I wish I could pull that look off."

A raft of entertaining responses took a less serious view of proceedings, including reminders of elaborate clothing depicted in artworks from centuries ago.

"He looks silly to me but history is filled with depictions of men wearing garments many consider feminine," said one onlooker.

"Scotland sports a kilt but that doesn’t strike me as feminine because it’s cultural. This dude wanted attention. He succeeded."

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