The NFL is defending its decision to spotlight Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce, who sparked romance rumors, amid recent backlash from some football fans.
On the past two Sundays, September 24th and October 1st, the pop star appeared at Kansas City Chiefs games, causing quite a stir on social media. Following her performances, the NFL has embraced the additional attention the singer has brought to the league by, among other things, changing her bio on official NFL social accounts and posting additional photos of Swift.
Most recently, after the Chiefs defeated the New York Jets 23-20 in a controversial win, the NFL’s Instagram bio read, “The Chiefs are 2-0 like the Swifties,” acknowledging how often Swift watches the games Tight Ends had visited. The NFL also wrote “NFL (Taylor’s Version)” in its bio on X (formerly Twitter).
Although the Swift references were removed after each game the following day, some football fans were still upset, saying the NFL seemed focused on celebrating a team’s victory.
In response, the league said in a statement The Hollywood Reporter“We often change our bios and profile pictures depending on what’s happening in and around our games and culturally.” The news about Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce was a pop culture moment that we witnessed in real time because it is an intersection between sport and entertainment, and we have seen an incredible amount of positivity around sport.”
“The majority of our content remains focused on the game, our players and various other initiatives, including our Toy Story Funday Football replacement lineup, the international games and more,” the league concluded.
The statement also comes after Kelce said this in a recent episode of his New heights Podcast that he thinks the coverage of Swift at his games is “excessive.” After news leaked that Swift was preparing to attend the Chiefs-Jets game in New Jersey, NBC launched a Swift-themed marketing campaign that featured her song “Welcome to New York” in a commercial.
“I think everyone is just overwhelmed,” Kelce said. “I think it’s fun when they show who all is in the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you see. But at the same time they overdo it a little bit, especially in my situation.”
Since Swift’s first surprise appearance at the Chiefs-Bears game, the sports world has gotten a taste of the power of Swift and her Swifties. Not only has it increased ratings, but it has also led to an increase in ticket prices for games, jersey sales and more.