I completely disagree with it being "the right thing to do" or "good leadership". Good leaders set examples but they don't take swings. You never heard of Joe Montana or Peyton Manning hitting guys. They'll call a guy out or get in his face but when you take a swing at a guy, it comes off as immature more than good leadership. I can't imagine that the veterans on the team were thinking, "wow, he really has control of the team."
And if you are going to swing, make it a real swing. Not some girly slap.