The NFL on Wednesday defended its recent coverage of pop superstar Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce amid backlash from fans and even Kelce himself, who said the league is “overdoing it” with its attention toward the duo’s rumored romance.
Swift has attended the Chiefs’ past two games, including their 23-20 win over the New York Jets on Sunday night at MetLife Stadium, which was the most watched Sunday show since the Super Bowl with an average of 27 million TV viewers, according to NBC Sports.
The broadcast featured ads for the forthcoming concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and on several occasions cut to Swift, who cheered on the Chiefs enthusiastically from her luxury box seats, while commentators made references to her song lyrics. The NFL has played along, particularly on its social media accounts. After the Chiefs’ win over the Jets, the NFL’s Instagram bio read, “chiefs are 2-0 as swifties,” while its bio on X read, “NFL (Taylor’s Version).”
“We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the NFL wrote in a statement on Wednesday. “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 went on to state, “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.”
Kelce opened up on his thoughts about the NFL’s celebrity coverage on the latest episode of his podcast “New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce,” saying he thinks it needs to “calm down.”
Asked about the league’s attention placed on him and Swift, 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 …”
His brother then interjected: “They’re overdoing it.”
Kelce agreed: “They’re overdoing it a little bit, for sure, especially my situation. [But] I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”
Information from Reuters was used in this report.