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'It's not her fault': Taylor Swift fans discuss backlash over her attendance at NFL games

February 11, 2024
Photo by Zachary Balcoff | The State News

On Sept. 24, 2023, global pop star Taylor Swift attended her first Kansas City Chiefs game and has since attended numerous others. Her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, is a tight end for the team and her attendance at his games has sparked national conversation. 

As a result, Swift has been the source of a lot of negative backlash from football fans. Informational science sophomore Adry Munoz is a fan of the pop star and says the criticism towards her is unfounded. 

"A lot of the backlash ... I believe that it’s mostly on the NFL," Munoz said. "I think the NFL controls a lot, and I’ve noticed they are pushing it a lot: posting her, posting references to her without her asking for that attention."

Even if people are frustrated by her being shown, which Munoz understands understands to a certain degree, the blame shouldn’t be placed on Swift, she said.

"In the end, she’s just there to support her boyfriend," Munoz said. "I understand it can be annoying, a lot of it needs to be put on the NFL for making it such a big deal."

Music education sophomore Ryan Bryne also believes people criticizing her for her screen time during games need to "leave her alone."

Byrne said there are other things Swift does that should instead be criticized, like her exorbitant carbon emissions and private jet usage. However, she said, many people are grouping these points in with unfounded scrutiny over her attendance at NFL events. 

"People are trying to tie valid arguments to something like the NFL that doesn’t really matter," Byrne said. 

Munoz believes much of this criticism comes from a place of misogyny.

"I think a lot of the men are bothered by this very popular woman being thrown into their football culture," Munoz said. 

Similarly, Byrne said this type of sexist criticism is inevitable. 

"She has been a target of misogyny for as long as she has had a career," Byrne said. "As a woman, in general, in the public eye she is going to experience that."

The presence of Swift at games, however, has opened up NFL viewership to the singer's predominantly young and female fan base. Swift Squad Club President and hospitality sophomore Liz Brey said this is one of the large benefits of Swift being shown. 

"If girls want to watch football because they see someone like Taylor interested in football and suddenly they’re interested ... (and) if you like football and you want other people to watch games with you and be interested in it, then why not?"

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