The pop superstar’s flavor of the moment seems to be Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce, which has prompted Swift to attend two of his games.
The first was on Sept. 24, when the Chiefs trounced the Chicago Bears. Swift’s attendance seemed to support rumors that she was dating Kelce, although neither party has publicly confirmed their relationship. Nonetheless, her mere presence at the game eclipsed the sporting event itself.
So on Sunday, when Swift attended the Chiefs’ game against the New York Jets with a few celebrity friends in tow, including Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, all eyes — and cameras — were on Swift.
— NFL (@NFL) October 2, 2023
Taylor Swift, Ryan Reynolds, Sabrina Carpenter, Hugh Jackman, and Sophie Turner at the stadium supporting Travis Kelce and Chefs pic.twitter.com/GfEENWYdU2
— Ivan (@Ivankalema01) October 2, 2023
Taylor Swift arriving at MetLife Stadium for Travis Kelce’s game with Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman.
— Pop Base (@PopBase) October 1, 2023
— Ron (@midnightstrack2) October 2, 2023
Fully aware of Swift’s PR power, the NFL even used three photos of the “You Belong with Me” singer’s reactions during the game as its background image on its X account on Monday.
Screenshot of the NFL’s X account as of Monday.
And although Swift’s apparent romance with a beloved Super Bowl champ does reek a bit of a publicity stunt (perhaps to distract from her previous romantic entanglement with a racist) — some of the backlash she’s received from NFL fans also reeks of sexism and far-right values.
Media Matters found that dozens of conservative pundits have attacked Kelce for appearances in Pfzier and Bud Light ads that they interpret as a sign of his support for COVID-19 vaccines and LGBTQ+ rights. Swift’s left-leaning politics, meanwhile, have encouraged some on the right to resort to grade-school insults, flat-out criticizing her appearance and labeling Kelce a less-dominant “beta” male.
Yet the bulk of the attacks seem to come from people who just seem annoyed that Swift is distracting from the brutal and hyper-masculine sport of football. When the Chiefs played the Jets on Sunday, the hashtag “Enough Taylor Swift” began to trend on X.
Some social media users have even gone as far as suggesting the NFL rigged the Chiefs vs. Jets game in the Chiefs’ favor to appease Swift’s fans and boost ratings.
You would think Taylor Swift was the quarterback the way they cannot stop saying her name.
— king crissle (@crissles) October 2, 2023
Everyone at Chefs everytime they mentioned Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce pic.twitter.com/8mGN7YyMGk
— Ivan (@Ivankalema01) October 2, 2023
Interestingly enough, right-wing commentator Tomi Lahren chimed in on X about all the “Traylor” coverage, even though she admits in the same post that she’s not even a football fan.
The wall-to-wall coverage of Taylor Swift at this game is annoying AF. I don’t even like football and I agree it’s destroying football. Just enough.
— Tomi Lahren (@TomiLahren) October 2, 2023
Yet other social media users are calling out the right-leaning nonsense and defending Swift.
so cool how taylor swift is uplifting this sports org called the NFL. they’re gonna totally blow up soon i can feel it
— trash jones (@jzux) October 2, 2023
I had never even heard of Travis Kelce until he started dating Taylor Swift but I’m sure you bros are right and she’s just doing this to boost her popularity.
— The Volatile Mermaid (@OhNoSheTwitnt) October 2, 2023
Hey, NBC, enough already with all the shots of the attention-seeking diva who doesn’t even play football.
No more Aaron Rodgers. Show us Taylor Swift.
— Mike Finger (@mikefinger) October 2, 2023
It’s actually fun to see the same MAGA lunatics who often criticize others for being “triggered” get super triggered over Taylor Swift attending a football game with friends just to see her boyfriend play as well as her getting thousands of young people to register to vote.
— Ricky Davila (@TheRickyDavila) October 2, 2023
Personally, I think every Republican presidential candidate needs to be courageous enough to call out Taylor Swift during tomorrow night’s debate.
— Charlotte Clymer 🇺🇦 (@cmclymer) September 26, 2023
And if you happen to be someone who is on the fence about Swift’s attendance at NFL games, there does seem to be one huge benefit: