‘Utter disgust’ at Hall’s comment
TRIPLE M has fired AFL commentator Barry Hall for comments made on Friday night's football broadcast.
"Tonight on Triple M Football there were unacceptable and inappropriate comments made by a member of the commentary team," Head of Content Mike Fitzpatrick said in a statement.
"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."
The former Sydney Swans premiership player disgusted fans with a vulgar comment about a former player's pregnant wife while talking to St Kilda legend Leigh Montagna in the lead-up to the Western Bulldogs' clash against Geelong at Etihad Stadium.
The comment was regarding a technique used by medical professionals, known as a 'membrane sweep', which Montagna's wife Erinn underwent to induce labour. Hall insinuated the doctor acted in a sexually inappropriate way.
"It's when the obstetrician just has a little feel and makes sure that you're starting to dilate and puts a couple fingers up there and checks what's going on." Montagna told Triple M before Hall made his remark.
"It's a procedure they do before birth."
Hall then responded by saying: "Joey was a bit disturbed because the doctor was a good looking rooster about four years of age and then he did the sweep".
On Barry Hall comments that led to his sacking by Triple M: shocked, disgusted and deeply dismayed. https://t.co/bsqyBj8zN1— Sam Lane (@SamJaneLane) June 29, 2018
News.com.au has chosen not to reveal the specific details of what the 41-year-old then went on to say about the procedure.
On the panel with Hall and Montagna was AFL commentator Mark Howard, AFL great Nathan Brown and footy journalist Damien Barrett. At least two of the commentators burst out laughing after Hall's remark.
The Friday night broadcast was actually Hall's return to Melbourne radio after being called up by Triple M to fill-in for AFL legend Chris Judd.
The Swans premiership captain was just eight minutes into his return when he delivered the comment that resulted in Triple M terminating his employment.
Hall remained on air alongside the Triple M footy panel for another hour, but his voice was not heard after the 7pm news break.
I just heard what Barry Hall said. Wow. I’m speechless. Good on TripleM for sacking him on the spot. There wasn’t really any choice.— Mark Gottlieb (@MarkGottliebFOX) June 29, 2018
Montagna did not appear to take offence to Hall's comment and went on to be the lead commentator during Triple M's broadcast of the Cats-Bulldogs thriller.
He earlier said he would be prepared to leave Etihad Stadium in the middle of the game if he received a call from his wife to inform him she was going into labour.
Footy commentators and former AFL players on Saturday morning and Friday night publicly declared their support for the decision to terminate Hall on the spot.
Hall's broadcasting future remains uncertain.
Just heard what ex AFL player, Barry Hall said on radio.— Dean Rosario (@DeanRosario) June 29, 2018
What an utterly disgraceful, obscene, inappropriate thing to say at any time, to anyone, about anyone.
AFL can have all Respect Women Matches they want, but they have to realise they have a misogynistic cultural problem.
Despite a stellar career as a footballer, Hall was known for his on field antics and suspensions. The most notorious being his 2008, seven-game suspension for punching West Coast's Brent Staker.
Hall used his Hall of Fame induction speech to talk of the incident, saying it "bothers him" and the footage is not something he wants his son to see.
Hall was also charged with striking Matt Maguire of St Kilda in 2005, a week leading up to the Grand Final. Hall's team, the Sydney Swans, went on to beat the West Coast Eagles in the premiership.
Triple M have sacked Barry Hall. Was filling in on tonight’s match when he made an inappropriate comment in a pre-match chat. Was told not to finish his shift and now has been sacked by the station.— Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) June 29, 2018
Seriously Barry Hall are you kidding me...all you had to do was turn up and talk footy. You made me physically ill and infuriated at the same time...disgusting! #marngrook— Shelley Ware (@ShelleyWare) June 29, 2018