Stop Bullying Taylor Swift for Supporting Her Boyfriend

Published: Last Updated on

Some NFL fans have been in an uproar over the broadcast screen time Taylor Swift has received while attending Kansas City Chiefs’s games, according to 9 News. Since her relationship with Chiefs Tight End Travis Kelce began, Swift has attended 13 games to cheer on her boyfriend, per a People Magazine article. With Swift being one of the biggest pop stars of our generation (exemplified by her record number of music sales), her attendance has unsurprisingly drawn countless instances of media attention. Although a popular narrative is that Swift has become the focus of the TV cameras simply for a new audience’s attention, I believe there are several misconceptions and hateful attitudes about the whole situation. Whether anyone likes to hear it or not, Swift has helped the NFL, and the hate from football fans sounds like a strong case of misogyny to me.

A New York Times article reported Swift was shown four times on TV for a total duration of 32 seconds during the Jan. 28 Chiefs vs. Ravens game. The article went on to analyze a few other broadcasts of her game appearances and found she was aired the most at the Jan. 13 Chiefs vs. Dolphins game—for one minute 16 seconds. Does simply showing a different celebrity than the ones who are on the field for a minute hurt anyone? I do not think so. According to the New York Post, footage of Swift at the Super Bowl accounted for just 0.36 percent of the four hours and eight minutes of the “big game’s” air time. This was miniscule in relation to the myriad of ads and stretches of the game. And, because Swift attended games, both the NFL and Chiefs have profited. According to CBS News, Front Office Sports reported that Swift generated more than $330 million for the NFL and Chiefs, according to Apex Marketing Group. Swift has quite literally increased the value of the NFL and Chiefs brands—why do some people fail to recognize that? Returning to the recent Super Bowl, Swift appeared onscreen of the Super Bowl for 53 seconds, according to the Houston Chronicle. That airtime was worth about $12.4 million based on the cost to run a 30-second commercial—which is $7 million for this year’s Super Bowl. Because Swift attended the game for free, her appearance was a bargain for the NFL and CBS, who didn’t have to pay for her appearance but gained viewership because of it. 

Some NFL fans reacted to Swift being “shown too much” with public comments on ESPN’s Instagram account including, “I was born in 2004 so I didn’t experience 9/11 but I’m assuming this is pretty d*mn near close,” “We. Do. Not. Care.,” and “please stop it.” These fans are being way too harsh. I am astounded—how is a woman being shown on TV comparable to a terrorist attack? Even if that comment was one in a million, thousands of people still liked it (and other hateful comments) on the post. Something everyone needs to note is Swift is simply there to support her boyfriend, like the many women who come to their significant other’s games. Some football fans need to relearn a lesson that dates back to the kindergarten years: If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

Misogyny within pop culture doesn’t just end at Swift. One People Magazine article shares the stories of 24 women and their experiences with sexism in Hollywood. Actress and model Brigitte Neilson’s quote strikes especially true regarding this situation: 

“Men are always safe, no matter what they do they are always safe; they can have kids, they can change wives I don’t know how many times,” Neilson said. “If you’re Brigitte Nielsen — you’ve been married a couple of times, you have a couple of kids, you make some mistakes — everybody’s out to get you. If you’re a man it’s like nothing ever happened.”

Robert People—a father, author and TikTok creator—shared his point of view with others on TikTok after hearing about all of the criticism that Swift has gotten. In his video, he reminds the public that the harsh comments towards Swift could be affecting their children. He went on to talk about how their daughters are seeing how poorly they are treating this woman. This influence could potentially cause these children to think that this is okay for them to be treated as such. He said it could affect their self-confidence in the future. I agree with him—children learn from their parents’ behaviors, and role models should not bully others. I think People’s quote wraps up his (and my) view nicely: 

“For those of you people out there—especially grown men—expressing all this nasty, ridiculous hate for Taylor Swift just for existing and supporting her boyfriend in the NFL, keep in mind, Taylor Swift’s not gonna see or hear any of that,” People said. “But you know who will? Your daughter.” 

If any other male celebrity was shown how Swift is during an NFL game, I seriously doubt this would even be an opinion piece or topic of discussion. My bet is almost nobody would care this much or say anything about it. Unfortunately for Swift, she is a woman and therefore constantly subject to criticism—but we have the power to change how the world works. Why don’t we all focus on bigger issues in the world than a celebrity at a sporting event? Let’s start with misogyny.

Recommended for You