Travis Kelce gave both Taylor Swift and the whole world the ick

By Fleurine Tideman

Published Feb 15, 2024 at 04:16 PM

Reading time: 4 minutes

Last Sunday, 11 February 2024, we all tuned in to watch Troy and Gabriella celebrate Troy’s big game win after she rushed to make it back from her sold-out Tokyo concert and singlehandedly snatched one year off however much we’ve got left until Earth bursts into flames. Confused as to what I’m going on about? My bad, I got High School Musical and the Super Bowl 2024 starring Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift mixed up for a second.

It warmed our hearts to watch T-Swift and her Lover, Travis Kelce, celebrate his big win. But that sentiment didn’t last long, as fans quickly zoomed in on some red flag behaviours exhibited by none other than ‘Mr. Perfectly Fine’ himself. Kelce gave us all the ick, and people were not shy about sharing their distaste.

@people

#TaylorSwift and #TravisKelce kissing and dancing to #LoveStory at XS Nightclub at Wynn Las Vegas. ❤️ #SuperBowl #Chiefs

♬ original sound - People Magazine

While I don’t love how quickly we all went from adoring Kelce to feeling repulsed by him, I have to say, it is kind of refreshing? Look at it from this perspective: for once, the world was tearing down a man for the smallest missteps after centuries of gender biases against women. Usually, we let them get away with everything, including murder—literal murder!

I always thought progress would be when we stop nitpicking at successful women and gunning to see them fail, but maybe progress is applying the same critical attention to the men at their side? Just a thought.

How Travis Kelce gave us all the ick

The world has been watching the Taylor/Travis love story unravel with literal cartoon heart eyes. The friendship bracelets, the custom jacket, and him calling her “Tay” (screaming) have kept us enchanted and firmly hooked. I haven’t even opened a dating app in months because I’m too busy obsessing over every detail of their relationship.

But as quickly as we fell for this literal rom-com, we got the ick from Kelce. It all happened after the big Super Bowl win, where the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in a tight 25 to 22. I don’t know much about football, but Travis seems to slay at being a tight end.

So the backlash wasn’t about his football prowess, but rather his actual behaviour.

@nfloncbs

❤️❤️❤️ #nfl #traviskelce #taylorswift #kelce #chiefs #superbowl

♬ original sound - Rednaz🌀 - Rednaz🌀

After the Chiefs lost a fumble during the second quarter, Kelce ran up to Coach Andy Reid in a clearly frustrated state. He yelled aggressively at the coach and knocked into him. It seemed like he was demanding to be put back in the game, although Kelce has since claimed he “was just telling him how much I love him.” Sure, okay.

Tensions can run high in sports, but this seemed disrespectful and gave off Alpha-hole energy.

@tmz

#TravisKelce was FUMING after the #Chiefs fumbled the ball in the red zone, and screamed in head coach AndyReid's face 🤬 (📽️: Courtesy of NFL)

♬ original sound - TMZ

Strike two

After the game, Kelce celebrated by singing ‘Viva Las Vegas’ into the microphone. It went on for way too long, especially in front of your Grammy-winning girlfriend. Fans think Swift looked uncomfortable during this and maybe got the ick herself.

@overtimeszn

HYPE ME UP TRAV!!! (via @NFL) #traviskelce #nfl #superbowl #football #speech #lasvegas

♬ original sound - Overtimeszn

Thankfully for Kelce, we’re yet to see strike three, but usually, when someone is on a downward spiral like this, it’ll come quickly enough.

Oh how the tables have turned

Anyone who has dated a frat guy, been on a bad Tinder date, or generally interacted with men can attest that Travis wasn’t even that bad. Sorry, but let’s be honest. He sang ‘Viva Las Vegas’ in Vegas. Okay, it wasn’t a Bachelor or Bachelorette party, but still. 

He might have lost his shit at his coach, which is a douchy thing to do, but welcome to almost any sporting match. Emotions run high.

The difference is that everyone was watching him closely and waiting for him to fail because he is with Miss Americana herself. The only unusual bit is that we’re doing it to a man for once when we’ve been historically only overanalysing women like this.

Just think back to all those gossip magazines that plastered a celeb’s worst photo on the cover, caught right when they were bending over in a bikini or not paying attention, titled “disgusting” and “fat.”

Think of all the times they created “worst dressed” lists and only put women in them, while men got away with wearing the same tuxedo to every event.

Think of how Adele got roasted for cancelling a concert due to her entire crew getting COVID, while male stars like Harry Styles did the very same thing, and received zero backlash.

Let’s even get more specific and talk about Blondie herself. Anti-Swifties claim Taylor only writes songs about relationships and breakups, but it’s seemingly fine for people like John Mayer, Sam Fender, and Ed Sheeran to do the exact same thing. 

And now, everyone’s mad that it feels like the singer is “everywhere” when, in reality, she is just living her life, minding her own business, and doing what’s making her happy. What’s funny is that baby men are mad at her for going to all of Kelce’s football games, but if she stayed away, they’d accuse her of being a selfish and unsupporting girlfriend.

Taylor can’t win. No woman can.

Every time a woman is built up, there’s this collective painful tension of waiting until the world has decided they’ve climbed too high.  They’ll proceed to take them down and make sure that everything they say and do can be used against them.

We’ve seen multiple male singers and actors being accused of sexual assault, and, just a few months later, they’re still out there doing movies and selling out stadiums. On the other hand, everything we love about a woman will eventually get used against her. Emma Chamberlain’s relatability got her famous, and just as quickly became an ick. Molly Mae’s entrepreneurship got her noticed, and just as quickly made her seem insincere and overly commercial. I could go on forever but you get the jist.

While I also found myself a bit put off by Kelce’s actions on the field, I don’t see it as enough to judge his character or relationship. I mean, he has also given us enough good stuff to go off—he seems to genuinely care about her and support her career. This is more than we can say about some of my exes.

But, if we are going to judge women in the spotlight, let us judge the men the same way. If we insist on tearing women apart, let’s extend the same courtesy to men, especially the ones male fanbases feel so strongly about.

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