Taylor Swift is currently trending online, but not for her albums, nor for the Grammys. The pop superstar, who is taking the world by storm with her Eras Tour, is eliciting headlines for her attendance at boyfriend, Kansas City Tight End, Travis Kelce’s games.
Swift has been the subject of a barrage of negativity lately, with claims that she’s “ruining football” with her widely publicised NFL appearances. Just yesterday, a Ravens fan literally yelled “you’re ruining football” at Swift as she exited the venue.
Why? Well, some football fans are miffed that the broadcast keeps cutting away to the star during the game. While it’s the NFL that’s capitalising on her presence at the games, critics are directing their blame at a favourite cultural target: A successful woman.
Far be it to blame the conglomerate that’s making the broadcasting calls and benefitting off Swift.
“Can someone tell Taylor Swift to stop ruining football? K, thanks,” read one comment on the topic.
“She does ruin it. We don’t need to see her celebrating all game,” added another.
“It’s not the 30 seconds [cutaway] Colin,” one user wrote in response to sports presenter Colin Cowherd’s recent defence of Swift.
“It’s the all the residual commentary, like the 3 minutes and 46 seconds you just spent talking about Taylor. Multiply that number by 10’s of thousands of people and it’s no longer about football…it’s about Taylor and the Football game that she was at.”
In some ways, the commenters are right — there’s no denying the coverage of Swift’s attendance at the NFL has been significant. But if the issue is as simple as the star ‘disrupting’ coverage, these NFL ‘bros’ need to acknowledge who’s making the call.
In her recent Time interview Swift spoke about her disdain for the coverage: “I don’t know how they know what suite I’m in,” she says. “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once.”
“I’m just there to support Travis,” she added. “I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”
In the penultimate game before the Super Bowl, Swift could be seen in the stands, appearing to mouth “go away please” to the CBS cameras when they, yet again, cut away to her.
Swift isn’t actively seeking coverage of herself at the games, it’s a business decision made by the NFL and its broadcasters, because she’s making them money. In fact, a new report suggests that Swift has generated over $330 million for the Chiefs and the NFL since she started dating Travis.
Swift’s presence doesn’t seem to be ruining the success of the NRL, she’s actually bolstering it.
The star has has opened up a whole new demographic to the sport, and the NFL are making the most of it. If the game coverage includes ‘too much Taylor’, that has very little to do with her, and a lot more to do with the NFL’s financial bottom line.
Swifties have been buying tickets in droves to watch the game, are keeping up with the scoreboard and tuning into niche NFL documentaries like Kelce, the documentary about Travis’ brother Jason Kelce. Many have developed a genuine love for the sport after being introduced to it through Taylor.
More open-minded NFL fans have come out in support of this, thanking Taylor for showing the women in their life that the NFL is a brilliant sport, which could be a mainstay form of entertainment in their lives.
Between, diversifying the fan base, increasing global interest and generating $330 million for the NFL and its broadcasters, it seems safe to say Swift’s presence is saving the sport, not ruining it.