Here’s How The NFL Responded To Widespread Backlash Over Their “Exhausting” Taylor Swift Coverage

“The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been a pop cultural moment we’ve leaned into in real time,” the NFL said in defense of their coverage this week.

As I’m sure you know, Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s rumored romance has led to quite the pop culture crossover.

Since Travis first invited Taylor to watch him play at Arrowhead Stadium last month, the popstar has attended two games — the first on Sept. 24 when the Chiefs took on the Chicago Bears in Kansas City.

A week later on Oct. 1, she showed up for a second appearance at the Chiefs’ match against the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium — this time joined by a whole host of A-list pals, including Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, and Sophie Turner.

Of course, if you’ve been online in the past two weeks, you’ll know that the NFL have fully embraced Taylor’s presence at the games, notably using her name, pictures, and even references to her lyrics all over their social media platforms.

According to numerous reports, the football league briefly changed its name on Twitter to read: “NFL (Taylor's Version).”

Twitter: @NFL

More recently, after the Chiefs triumphed over the Jets on Sunday, the NFL updated their header on the site to a trio of photographs of Taylor cheering at the game, and also changed their bio to reference the lyrics of one of her songs.

Elsewhere, Time magazine noticed that the NFL Instagram account switched out its bio to: “chiefs are 2-0 as swifties” as the Jets game was still underway.

And the internet isn’t the only place the league is going all-in on their Swiftie era. During TV broadcasts of both the games that Taylor attended, the cameras repeatedly cut to her in the crowd, while the commentators talked about her frequently.

Twitter: @NFL

Like many online trends, the fanfare was initially received well. However, as the focus on Taylor got more and more pervasive over the weekend, people began to grow a little tired of it all.

On Monday, New York Giants fans showed their frustration as they booed an advert for her Eras Tour movie that played in the stadium. At the same game, another attendee was seen holding a sign that read: “Not a Swiftie.”

Elsewhere, Taylor’s fans are even getting a little bored, with many taking to social media to call out the league’s “strange” focus on the singer.

Twitter: @lavenderpain13

“the NFL/Taylor crossover is exhausting… I’m the biggest swiftie there is but I’m also a genuine football fan and just want to watch the game,” one fan wrote.

Twitter: @holly_caitlin

One person echoed that the NFL’s coverage of Taylor was getting “embarrassing,” while another described the whole thing as “a little ridiculous.”

Twitter: @iknowhauntedd

So, with the large majority of football fans and Swifites feeling that the joke has gone a little too far, it seems Travis Kelce shares a similar opinion.

During the most recent episode of his New Heights podcast, the Chiefs tight end admitted that things had gone overboard when his brother and fellow NFL star Jason Kelce asked if the league was “overdoing it” with their coverage of Taylor.

“I think it’s fun when they show who all is at the game,” Travis replied, adding that he can understand that showing celeb attendees can bring “a little bit more to the atmosphere.”

“But at the same time,” he added, “they’re overdoing it a little bit for sure… especially my situation.”

Travis did attempt to defend the fanfare surrounding his love life, saying the broadcasters are simply “trying to have fun with it.” Although, he ultimately noted that famous football fans don’t attend the games “to be thrown on TV.”

In response, Jason agreed that the NFL “is not used to celebrities coming to the games,” and therefore isn’t quite sure how to handle all the excitement — particularly with someone as famous as Taylor.

“Basketball has it figured out… [celebrities are] court side, they show them once or twice and then they get back to the game,” the Philadelphia Eagles player said. “The NFL is like, ‘Look at all these A-list celebrities at the game! Show them! Show them!’ — Dude, show them once and get a little clip, but you can’t be overboard with it.”

And while the conversation continues to develop online, it seems the NFL have caught on to the backlash.

In a statement provided to People earlier this week, the league defended their decision to go all-in on Swiftie coverage, specifically noting that they “frequently change” their "bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around” the games.

“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 statement said.

Responding to those who’ve said the coverage has strayed too far from the actual sport, the NFL doubled down and said: “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.”

Being that the last Chiefs game with Taylor in attendance was the most-watched Sunday show since the Super Bowl back in February, averaging 27 million viewers, it’s no surprise that the NFL have defended putting the spotlight on the singer.

However, it seems like fans across the country are hoping that they’ll try to play it cool from this point onwards — for Taylor and Travis’s sake, if not their own.

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