20/04/2016 3:42 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:52 PM AEST

Grant Hackett Nipple Cripple Saga Takes Humorous Twist With Hilarious Journalist Question

Brendon Thorne via Getty Images
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 05: Grant Hackett of Qld leaves the pool following the Men's 200m Freestyle Final during the day three of the Australian National Swimming Championships at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on April 5, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

The Grant Hackett saga chugs on, much as Hackett himself reportedly did before boarding a plane on the weekend.

Hackett issued an apology overnight which was so predictable, you could recite it word for word without having read a syllable. As you'd expect, it included the phrases "I apologise unreservedly to the gentleman on the flight" and “I seriously and genuinely regret my poor behaviour".

Which kind of makes a mockery of Collingwood CEO Gary Pert's assertion that the incident was "completely blown out of all proportion", because people generally don't apologise unreservedly for stuff that didn't happen.

Meanwhile, Hackett contacted victim Martin Slobodnik, the man whose nipple was reportedly "nipple-crippled", and offered to donate an undisclosed amount to a charity of Slobodnik's choice. That's another sign that yeah, something probably happened. As was Mr Slobodnik's comment that he felt "violated".

The Huffington Post Australia rang Mr Slobodnik. He seemed a friendly fellow but was understandably tight-lipped. He told us he was doing a bit of work and a bit of relaxing but had nothing to say on the Hackett incident. "No comment," was his response to most of our questions.

It was also his response to a question by a young Melbourne Channel Nine reporter who followed him down the street. Here's how that exchange went.

"Martin, how's the nipple today?"

The reporter in question is being widely mocked for asking that.

But the derision is perhaps a little unfair. Think about it. You've got five seconds to ask a question of a bloke walking past really quickly who doesn't want to be interviewed.

You're not going to ask him a question like "do you consider the invasion of your aureole to be a prosecutable offense?" You've got four or five words, max.

At least the young reporter posed a question nobody knew the answer to.