Judge, jury, Swifties, and Baby Men©, I am here today to plead the case of Miss Taylor Alison Swift.
Miss Swift has garnered hate and scrutiny for her attendance at NFL football games. She has been victim to booing, vitriol-filled social media posts, and cruel think pieces.
But once I have taken you through my evidence supporting the singer’s presence and behaviour at these games, I am confident that you’ll recognise this negativity for the not-so-subtle misogyny it actually is. This hearing is now in session, please be seated.
Swift’s presence at these NFL games has one purpose, and one purpose only: to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce.
Kelce is a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs and so Swift attends these games to cheer him on and spend time with his family and friends. Yet we like to act as if she is intentionally there to steal the limelight, despite sitting away from the action and rarely sharing photos of her time there. The photos and videos we see of Swift at these matches have been taken by CBS, paparazzi, and others in attendance; she doesn’t share anything on her own social media.
In contrast, Kelce’s older brother, Jason, attended a game with Swift on the 21 January and was climbing out of the VIP box, running around shirtless, and filmed chugging beers. Yet, no one thought to criticise this behaviour or the attention it took from the game itself—and it took a lot of attention.
If Swift did not attend these matches, she would quickly be labelled as unsupportive and uncaring, prioritising her successful career over her partner. Swift is currently investigating how to defy time and space to attend the upcoming Super Bowl match in Las Vegas on 11 February after her concert in Tokyo, and yet her efforts will go without praise.
How long is Swift actually shown at these NFL games to the chorus of booing? Well, shorter than the duration of Jo Koy’s joke about her at this year’s Golden Globes. The New York Times pointed out that Koy’s infamous joke lasted 16 (long) seconds, which “was more time than CBS had dedicated to showing Ms Swift at either of the last two Chiefs games she’d attended leading up to that night.”
Yep, 16 seconds—even your shitty ex lasted longer than that.
In his piece, Benjamin Hoffman further stated: “The reality is Ms Swift typically being onscreen for less than 25 seconds over the course of broadcasts that run longer than three hours, with her name rarely being mentioned.”
Everyone’s got their panties in a bunch about a simple 25 seconds.
Despite the short duration that Swift is shown at NFL games, and her removed presence in the VIP box, she might just be the best thing to happen to their bank accounts.
Margaret Fleming of Front Office Sports discussed how “the pop star led the NFL to its highest regular-season viewership among women since it began tracking in 2000.” Swifties are obsessed with this rom-com relationship and are tuning in as a result.
Are they attending/watching just to catch a glimpse of Swift? Perhaps, but literally, who cares? That’s just 25 seconds of it; for the rest, they’ll be watching football. And that’s a win for the NFL. Don’t forget that some Swifties enjoy sports too—a shocking revelation—and this might be allowing them to openly do so.
It’s estimated that “Swift has generated an equivalent brand value of $331.5 million for the Kansas City Chiefs and the NFL.” All of those ‘dedicated’ fans who criticise the impact of Swift on their beloved sport are negating what an important business partner she has become for the NFL as well as Kelce’s team.
Also, she makes Travis so damn happy, and his fans should be basking in that.
In many ways, we’re watching out an American version of a story we as Brits already know so well: Victoria and David Beckham. Posh Spice was ripped apart by the press, and her husband was also occasionally thrown in the firing line, all for having a love life outside of a sport beloved by the population. Football players and musicians have their own personal lives; they don’t exist just for our viewing pleasure.
Taylor Swift is not the only celeb visiting football games or other sporting events for that matter. Celebrities are truly just like you; they enjoy watching basketball, baseball, and even football. She is not even the only celebrity to have visited a football game in the last month, or the only one to have been photographed at it.
On 29 January, Eminem attended a Detroit Lions vs San Fransisco 49ers game in support of his home team. Naturally, fans took notice of the prolific rapper. How did Eminem react to this? He held up two middle fingers to the fans of the opposing team. A playful gesture, sure, but imagine how people would have reacted to Miss Swift acting this way. She’s already criticised for smiling and waving.
In contrast, Swift’s reaction to the opposing team’s fans can be seen at the Kansas City Chiefs vs Buffalo Bills game the week prior, most notable for Jason Kelce’s drunken antics. At one point, an intoxicated Kelce lifted a young Buffalos fan holding a sign that read “Buffalo Bills + Taylor Swift — Best First Game Ever.” Swift spoke to the young girl and complimented her sign, making the little Swiftie very, very happy.
And this isn’t just a matter of male versus female behaviour at sporting events, as much as we’d love it to be. On January 15th, Kendall Jenner and Hailey Bieber attended a game between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Oklahoma City Thunder. While Jenner smiled and held up heart signs to cameras, Bieber held up a middle finger on each of her manicured hands and stuck out her tongue.
I am not saying that celebrities need to always smile and pose for cameras. My point is simply that we are crucifying a woman who is constantly polite and respectful, despite the bullying she is subjected to.
It came to the public’s attention that the CIA may have rigged the Super Bowl so that Taylor Swift could make Joe Biden president. Yep, that was painful enough to write, let alone imagine that some people honestly believe it. Sigh.
Everyone’s opinions are valid unless you think that this is how the POTUS and CIA are spending their time and precious resources. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot of bribery involved in the NFL and sporting matches, but somehow, I don’t think it’s coming from a government agency.
Far-right influencers have named Taylor Swift a “Pentagon asset” and an “election interference psyop,” according to The Guardian.
They believe that Biden’s team has intentionally increased his focus on Swift, recruited her to date Kelce, and then ensured that the Kansas City Chiefs make it to the Super Bowl. I guess at some point, Swift is supposed to endorse Biden and close the deal.
There are a few gaping abysses in this theory. Firstly, while I do not doubt that Biden’s team is gagging for an endorsement from the global superstar, she has yet to do so. Instead, she merely encourages her fans to vote in general.
Secondly, Swift was already a force to be reckoned with way before she started publicly dating Kelce. Erm, have you seen the Eras Tour? Why drag football into all this? Swift could’ve easily endorsed him at one of her many, many sold-out shows.
Thirdly, just to clarify: the people who think Kelce is so talented and somehow above blondie also think he couldn’t have reached the Super Bowl without government interference? Please, make it make sense.
People are entitled to their own beliefs. I have no issue with people not liking Swift for her music, even if I personally think that she’s a lyrical mastermind who rivals Shakespeare himself. But don’t tear her apart by searching for reasons to hate her. While Swift may proclaim herself to be a ‘Mastermind’, she is also just a girl in love right now. No one can watch that footage of her and Kelce celebrating after the latest Chiefs win and not believe that they’re happily, helplessly in love. If Swift being at these football matches bothers you so much, use those 25 seconds to check your lack of Tinder swipes, grab a refill, or initiate a conversation with your fellow sportsmen.
Dear Baby Men©, find something new to be mad about, trust me there’s enough injustice going on in the world right now to get pissy about. Let a girlie live her life and be madly in love. I rest my case.