THE CONTROVERSY sparked by Sam Mitchell's 'injection' taunt at Essendon players is just a storm in a teacup, Hawthorn defender Brian Lake says.
Mitchell apologised after the game for motioning that he was injecting his arm with a needle against the Bombers on Saturday, an apparent reference to Essendon's ongoing anti-doping saga.
Speaking to reporters on Monday after the Hawks' fourth-straight win, Lake said he had no issue with Mitchell's gesture.
"I'm a little bit of an old-school footballer as well so I think it's bit of a storm in a teacup, to be honest with you," Lake said.
"I would have thought (he's learnt his lesson), yeah. I know Sam mentioned something about it after the game, so I would have thought it's pretty much done and dusted from that."
The Hawks have been branded 'unsociable' again this year, with a series of incidents reviving the moniker attached to the intimidating team from their 2008 premiership season.
"Playing against Hawthorn at that stage, it was tough games all the time … but I think that had changed the last couple of years," said Lake, a former Western Bulldog.
"It's something that's come back into vogue that the media has brought up again this year. I haven't really thought much about it or worried about it too much."
Several Hawks have run foul of the Match Review Panel this year, most notably skipper Luke Hodge and Jordan Lewis, who were banned for striking offences in round five against North Melbourne.
In round one, Hawthorn players' sledging of Steven Motlop for drinking alcohol days before the game saw the livewire suspended by his club, while unproven accusations of taunts towards Cats forward Mitch Clark about his mental illness also surfaced from that encounter.
Lake said the Hawks weren't the only club to push the line on match days.
"Everyone keeps saying we're unsociable or what not, that we do play football on the edge," he said.
"But I think a lot of other sides do as well; we're not the only side that has had some players suspended and been in strife with some fines and stuff like that.
"So I don't think we're any different from any other side to be honest."