Travis Kelce has admitted the NFL may be putting too much focus on the relationship between himself and Taylor Swift.
Swift has been in attendance to watch two of Kelce’s games for the Kansas City Chiefs this season, although they have not confirmed they are in a romantic relationship. Everyone appears to benefit from the attention: sales of Kelce’s jersey sales have surged, the NFL’s viewing figures among younger people have risen and ads for Swift’s new film have been broadcast during games.
But on the latest episode of the podcast he hosts with his brother, New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce, the Chiefs star said he thinks the NFL needs to “calm down”.
Asked about the league’s attention Kelce said: “I think it’s fun when they show who was at the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, 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, especially my situation. [But] I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”
Some parts of NFL shows have been little more than broadcasters attempting to crowbar in as many Swift song lyrics as possible. The NFL’s bio on X after Sunday’s Chiefs game read: “NFL (Taylor’s Version)”.
Some cynics have implied the relationship between a pop star with a film and tour to promote and one of the most bankable players in a league known for its rampant commercialism may not be entirely genuine. The backlash has been enough that the NFL sought to defend itself on Wednesday.
“We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the NFL, which has annual revenues of $12bn, said in a statement. “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 league’s X bio now reads “turning up in Tottenham”, a reference to Sunday’s Jacksonville Jaguars-Buffalo Bills game, which will take place in London.