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Lachie Neale and Abbey Holmes speak out about the kiss that was blasted as ‘inappropriate’ with footy star’s wife forced to intervene

Lachie Neale and Abbey Holmes have both addressed the controversy sparked by their innocent TV kiss, with Holmes revealing on Monday that Neale’s wife had texted her in support.

Brisbane Lions superstar Neale and Channel 7 presenter Holmes shared a quick kiss after the match that caused a stir, with some saying it crossed a line.

The kiss took place earlier this month when the Lions played the Bulldogs in Round 13, with the act not attracting too much attention at the time.

Holmes interviewed an exhausted Neale as they both leaned in for a quick kiss on the cheek after their conversation was over.

The pair, who are friends off the field, have sparked much debate over whether the kiss was inappropriate or not.

Speaking on Channel 9 on Monday morning for the Bank of Queensland’s ‘Vehicle for Kindness’ campaign, Neale said: ‘The fact that it has come up a week later is a bit strange. I actually didn’t know anything about it until recently. It comes as a bit of a surprise.”

Neale and Holmes shared this innocent kiss after a television interview and it has since gone viral

Neale and Holmes shared this innocent kiss after a television interview and it has since gone viral

Holmes, a former AFLW player, also responded on Monday, describing the response as “really disturbing.”

She also said Neale’s wife, Jules, checked in to see if she was doing okay following the online outrage.

“Jules Neale… messaged me this morning saying, ‘I hope you’re doing well, this is ridiculous,’” Holmes said. News Corp.

“I’m like, ‘Mate, I know. Lachie is a friend of mine.’

Holmes also spoke about the kiss on LiSTNR’s “Footy Talk” podcast, saying, “It’s really frustrating for me.” Lachie is a good friend of mine, so that’s just something you do: greet your friends.

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‘Whether that’s a hug or a kiss on the cheek. The fact that this has been blown out of proportion to the actual incident itself. It’s really disturbing to me.

‘I don’t want to spend too much time on it, because for me it’s not a story. And this is not the first time that a player with whom I have a good relationship has given me a hug or a kiss.

“I’ve worked so hard for so long now to build relationships, build trust, build a bond with these players and coaches and make them feel like they’re in a very safe space when they’re with me . And that’s probably what upset me the most.

“I don’t want my friends to feel awkward about the way they’re going to greet me or say goodbye to me. That’s not fair. I just feel like [it was] was massively blown out of proportion.’

Abbey Holmes (pictured) and Lachie Neale have caused controversy with a simple kiss on the cheek after an interview

Abbey Holmes (pictured) and Lachie Neale have caused controversy with a simple kiss on the cheek after an interview

Abbey Holmes (pictured) and Lachie Neale have caused controversy with a simple kiss on the cheek after an interview

Three-time premiership-winning Brisbane Lions coach Leigh Matthews also joined in, defending them for the seemingly innocent act.

“You assume they know each other very well,” AFL legend Leigh Matthews said on 3AW.

‘Because normally you only give a kiss on the cheek to someone you know very well, otherwise you shake their hand.

‘I would shake hands with a woman I don’t know very well. The kiss on the cheek is normally for someone you know very well. I don’t know how well they know each other.

“I assume they know each other very well, otherwise it’s something very special and that’s why we’re talking about it.”

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Matthews went on to say that he had never seen the move after a match before.

‘It’s a first. I’ve never seen it before. Have you ever seen that? That’s why we talk about it. It’s quite unusual.’

Journalist Kate Halfpenny commented on the kiss in a recent column in The age.

“The interaction was quick and not annoying, but it was weird enough for my husband and I to be like, ‘wait, what?’” she wrote.

Lions star Lachie Neale (pictured) is friends with Holmes off the pitch

Lions star Lachie Neale (pictured) is friends with Holmes off the pitch

Lions star Lachie Neale (pictured) is friends with Holmes off the pitch

‘This was rare, TV talent kissed or was kissed as a sign of farewell. You have to go back to Bec Judd who deflected from Tony Jones’ attempted hug in 2016 after her latest news bulletin.’

Halfpenny wondered if it was a good idea to kiss friends at work.

“But even if they’re best friends, is it a good idea to say hasta manana with a kiss when they’re both at work? For me it was too familiar,” she wrote.

“Place and time, folks. You’re making money from this chat, so keep it classy, ​​San Diego.

‘Intrigued, I watched the kiss a few more times. Neither side seemed uncomfortable.

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‘The incident has not caused a stir in the media or on social media. But at a time when former Spanish Football Federation president Luis Rubiales is facing sexual assault charges for his creepy unsolicited kiss on World Cup winner Jenni Hermoso, I think it’s worth asking the kiss question.”

Footy fans online have also made their views known on the issue, with opinions divided on the subject.

‘Very inappropriate for the female interviewer to kiss Lachie Neale. What would happen if a male interviewer did this to a woman? Appalling unprofessional behavior from the female interviewer,” one fan posted on X.

“Did Abbey Holmes state that Lachie Neal’s kiss on the cheek was inappropriate or offensive? No? Stfu and myob,” another posted.

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