The NFL released a statement about highlighting Taylor Swift on social media amid her rumored romance with the Chiefs tight end.
In the wake of controversy surrounding its recent focus on pop superstar Taylor Swift and her rumored romance with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, the NFL is defending its decision to spotlight the celebrity couple on social media.
Swift, 33, attended Kelce's last two games, one in Kansas City on Sept. 24 and another in New York on a subsequent Sunday. This presence prompted the NFL to feature the "Anti-Hero" singer on their social media platforms, even going so far as to alter their Instagram bio to read "The @Chiefs are now 2-0 with @TaylorSwift13 in attendance" and feature photos of her as their X (formerly known as Twitter) header banner.
The NFL defended the changes in a statement, which read, "We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally. 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."
Concluded the statement, "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."
Eyes were certainly on the game -- and Swift in the stands -- as NBC's broadcast of the latter game reportedly averaged 27 million viewers, and topped off at around 29 million during the second quarter, according to Deadline.
Kelce, 33, himself acknowledged the heightened attention during an episode of his podcast, New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment. During the podcast, Travis' brother, Jason Kelce, a 35-year-old center for the Philadelphia Eagles, raised the question of whether the NFL was "overdoing it" with its celebrity coverage, specifically in relation to Swift.
Travis responded, "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--"
Jason interjected, "They're overdoing it," with Travis concurring, "They’re overdoing it a little bit for sure, especially my situation. [But] I think they’re just trying to have fun with it."
Jason also suggested that the NFL may not be accustomed to celebrities attending their games, contrasting it with basketball's approach, where celebrities are shown briefly and then the focus returns to the game. Jason remarked, "NFL is like, 'Oh my god, look at all these A-list celebrities at the game, keep showing them, show 'em, show 'em…' You show them once, let them know they’re there, and after touchdowns you get a little clip, but it can’t be overboard with it. People are there to watch the game, right?"
Travis agreed, pointing out that celebrities, including the usually private Swift, attend games primarily to enjoy the experience and not to be constantly featured on TV.
Swift supported her rumored beau by cheering him on during the Chiefs' 23-20 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday. She was joined by other notable figures, including Sophie Turner, Blake Lively, Robyn Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Sabrina Carpenter, and Antoni Porowski. Brittany Mahomes, the wife of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, also watched the game from a suite alongside Swift after dining with the pop star and her friends the night before.