NFL defends focus on Swift-Kelce ‘pop cultural moment’

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The NFL defended its recent coverage of pop superstar Taylor Swift and the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday. Travis Kelce Reaction from fans and even Kelce himself, who said the league was “overdoing it” with attention to the pair’s rumored romance.

Swift has attended the Chiefs’ past two games, including their 23-20 win over the New York Jets 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 advertisements for the upcoming concert film “Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour” and several cuts to Swift, who enthusiastically cheered the Chiefs on from her luxury box seat, while commentators mentioned her lyrics. The NFL played along, especially on its social media accounts. After the Chiefs’ win over the Jets, the NFL’s Instagram bio read, “Chiefs 2-0 as Swifties,” while X’s bio read, “NFL (Taylor’s Edition).”

“We frequently change our bios and profile images based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the NFL wrote in a statement Wednesday. “The news of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce is a pop culture moment that we’re leaning towards in real time, because it’s an intersection of sports and entertainment, and we’ve seen an incredible amount of positivity around sports.”

“The majority of our content is focused on the game, our players and other initiatives including football alt-casts in our Toy Story Fund, international games and more,” the league added.

Kelce opened up about his thoughts on 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 “cool down.”

Asked about the league’s attention to him and Swift, Kelce said, “I think it’s fun when they show who’s been in the game. I think it brings a little more to the atmosphere, a little more to what you’re doing. But at the same time, I think…”

His brother then intervened: “They’re overdoing it.”

Kells agreed: “They’re overdoing it a bit, for sure, especially in my situation. [But] I think they’re trying to have fun with it.”

This report uses data from Reuters.

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