Villains – Hayden Ballantyne

How often have you seen Barry Hall celebrated for punching Brent Staker?

Or how about some cheerleading for Andrew Gaff putting one on the chin of Andrew Brayshaw?

In the AFL, those who cross the line and start throwing fists are not revered. Not usually. They are chastised and condemned, and rightfully so. The sport has come a long way from the dark days when fixing someone up with a punch to the head and getting a week suspension, as a result, were deemed part of the game. Yet, in 2012, Matthew Scarlett landed a left hand to the chin of Hayden Ballantyne and the consensus outside Fremantle supporters seemed to be that it was completely deserved.

The circumstances around this incident are, as most involving incidents like this, a little more than meets the eye. Let’s explore, as we look at our next villain in the series.


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