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Saturday, June 30, 2018

Barry Hall ‘could be blacklisted’ over vile Triple M radio comments

Barry Hall may never be welcomed back into a media role after being sacked by Triple M for vile comments he made on radio.
The footy great went to ground today after being immediately dismissed for vulgar remarks he made about the heavily pregnant wife of former St Kilda star Leigh Montagna last night.
The remark, which we have chosen not to publish, came after expectant father Montagna spoke about a procedure related to birth.
With questions remaining about how the "unacceptable and inappropriate comments’’ made it to air, experts said he was unlikely to be offered another job on radio or TV.
Despite the tough action taken by Triple M bosses last night amid heavy criticism, the station glossed over the issue at the start of today’s footy coverage.
"Last night on Triple M footy there was a disgusting and offensive comment made by Barry Hall,’’ reporter Damian Barrett said on air today.
"As a result of that an apology was issued moments after the words were said and Barry Hall was removed from the broadcast.’’
Barrett read the same statement issued by Triple M head of content Mike Fitzpatrick last night on air.
"Tonight on Triple M Football there were unacceptable and inappropriate comments made by a member of the commentary team," the statement said.
"The commentator was removed immediately from the broadcast and an apology was issued on air afterwards.
"Immediate action was taken with the termination of employment for one team member."
When asked by Triple M host James Brayshaw if there was "any more to report", Barrett said: "It was offensive, it was disgusting, it was unacceptable.’
Hall and Montagna have been contacted for comment.
Mr Fitzpatrick refused to comment on the issue further or explain why the “dump button” was not used during last night’s broadcast to keep the disgraceful comments off-air.
Victoria University sport strategy expert Professor Hans Westerbeek said the “stupid” comments could spell the end of Hall’s media career.
“I think the damage that Barry has done ultimately from such hideous comments could be irreparable damage,” he said.
“I can’t see any network touching this guy for a long time, if ever again.”
Prof Westerbeek said Hall should have known better.
“What flabbergasts me is that he had been in the media for quite a while but he still doesn’t have an intellect to separate his stupid personal views with what is acceptable in society,” he said.
“To me, that immediate sacking is probably the best thing that happened to draw a line in the sand.”
Triple M was forced to issue an apology in 2016 over on-air comments made about journalist Caroline Wilson, but took no further action three high-profile commentators responsible.
Eddie McGuire, Brayshaw and Danny Frawley made separate apologies after joking about drowning Wilson during coverage of The Big Freeze charity event.
Hall resigned as a Fox Footy caller last year and moved to the Gold Coast.
State opposition spokesman Tim Smith praised Triple M for taking "such swift action after such a vulgar comment".
"Triple M has done exactly the right thing in dismissing him immediately," he said.
The Herald Sun tried to contact Hall on Friday night, but he did not answer calls.
Several people took to social media to express outrage over the comment, some labelling it "disgusting" and "reprehensible".
"Wow Baz. Utterly speechless," one man wrote.
Another user commented: "Okay, so I never want to hear or see Barry Hall on radio, television, or anything, ever again. Ever."
Hall is the only AFL player to kick more than 100 goals at three clubs.
He kicked 144 goals from 88 games for St Kilda, 467 goals from 162 games for Sydney and 135 goals from his 39 games with the Western Bulldogs.
He was lucky to play in Sydney’s 2005 premiership after avoiding suspension for punching St Kilda’s Matt Maguire in the preliminary final.
The 2017 Hall of Fame inductee’s career was marred by controversy, including his infamous behind-the-play hit on West Coast’s Brent Staker which earnt Hall a seven-week suspension in 2008.
"It wasn’t great, kids have got to watch that. I’m a father now, I don’t want my boy to see his father do that," Hall told the Herald Sun last year, of the Staker hit.
Hall, a wild boy from Broadford when he joined St Kilda in 1996, last year explained how it was best he got out Melbourne.
"I was going out drinking, getting in fights and carrying on," he said.
"I was starting to get recognised and I just didn’t know how to handle it.
Last year Hall revealed he battled depression after retiring.
He appeared on I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here in 2015, where he met former Hi-5 children’s entertainer Lauren Brant.
The couple have a one-year-old son named Miller.
Hall said he didn’t want his son to follow him in to AFL.
"Hopefully he grows up with some brains," he said in April.
"He could be a doctor or a scientist, so he doesn’t have to get physically battered.
"Yeah, hopefully not (AFL)."