NFL defends spotlighting Taylor Swift during Travis Kelce’s games

The NFL has defended its Taylor Swift coverage amid Travis Kelce’s comments that the organisation was “overdoing it a bit.”

After focusing on both the football star and the Grammy winner extensively throughout the past two Kansas City Chiefs games, the NFL has received backlash from fans for spotlighting their rumoured relationship instead of the actual game. In a statement shared with People, the NFL commented that since the Kelce and Swift dating rumours have been “a pop culture moment,” the league has “leaned into in real time”.

“We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the NFL said. “The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real time, as it’s an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport.”

“The vast majority of our content has remained focused on the game, our players and variety of other initiatives, including our Toy Story Funday Football alt-cast, the international games, and more,” they concluded.

The pop star, 33, has made an appearance at the last two Chiefs games to support her rumoured beau – the first in Kansas City on 24 September and the second in New Jersey on 1 October. The league has since capitalised on the “Cruel Summer” singer’s appearance by heavily posting about it across their social media accounts, even changing their Instagram bio to “The @Chiefs are now 2-0 with @TaylorSwift13 in attendance.”

Throughout Sunday’s Chiefs-Jets game, cameras constantly panned to Swift’s entourage of celebrity friends, including Ryan Reynolds, Blake Lively, Hugh Jackman, Sophie Turner, Sabrina Carpenter, and Queer Eye star Antoni Porowski. The NFL has also catered to its newfound Swiftie audience by introducing a special segment with Carson Daly, in which Daly was tasked with explaining the specifics of football to the fandom.

In the most recent episode of Kelce’s New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce podcast, titled “The NFL Needs to Calm Down”, the Chiefs tight end addressed some concerns of football fans. When asked by his older brother Jason, 35, whether he thought the NFL was “overdoing it” by capitalising on his new relationship, Kelce initially replied: “I think everybody is just, like, overwhelmed.”

“Take away your feelings for Taylor,” Jason continued. “What is your honest opinion on how the NFL is treating celebrities at the games?”

At first, Travis seemed reluctant to badmouth the NFL when he said: “I think it brings a little more to the atmosphere, it brings a little bit more to what you’re watching. But at the same time, I think…”

“They’re overdoing it a little bit, for sure,” he eventually agreed, though maintained that he believed the NFL was doing it all in good fun. “Especially my situation. I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”

Elsewhere in the podcast, the brothers revealed that their mother, Donna Kelce, was over the moon to see so many famous faces show up at Sunday’s game. Kelce told his older brother: “She’s been on top of the f***ing world, man.”

The Chiefs player added that he sent his mother a text after the game to check in with her, and said that she later thanked him because she felt like she was in “an alternate universe” as she sat beside “Deadpool and Wolverine.”

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