Roger Goodell says Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce attention is 'great for the league'

BySam Joseph, CNN, CNNWire
Friday, November 24, 2023
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The most famous relationship in the world right now has the stamp of approval from the National Football League's (NFL) commissioner.

Roger Goodell, who has served as commissioner since 2006, appeared on CBS Mornings ahead of the NFL's Thanksgiving games and discussed the superstar pairing of singer Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

"Listen, they're happy," he said. "They seem to be enjoying their relationship. That's great in and of itself, but it has connected more fans of Taylor's and more fans of the NFL in some ways."

"[Swift is] an unbelievable artist, obviously, Travis is an unbelievable player and I think it's great for the league to have that kind of attention - so we welcome it," he added.

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The stats back up Goodell's claim. An October matchup between the Chiefs and the New York Jets that Swift attended resulted in the highest viewing figures for the NFL since February's Super Bowl, peaking at 29 million viewers, per Forbes.

NBC estimates there were about two million more female viewers for that fixture than in previous weeks, with viewership among girls aged 12 to 17 seeing a 53% increase from the average of Sunday Night Football's first three weeks.

The Grammy-award winning artist has been to Arrowhead Stadium multiple times this season, while Kelce recently visited Swift during her 'Eras Tour' concert in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she edited the lyrics in her song 'Karma' to include "the guy on the Chiefs."

Is the NFL 'overdoing it'?

In October, Kelce and his brother said in their podcast that the NFL was "overdoing it a little bit" on social media regarding the romance between the pop star and the Chiefs tight end.

Speaking with his older brother, Philadelphia Eagles center Jason, on the pair's New Heights podcast, Travis said: "I think it's fun when they show who was at the game. I think it brings a little bit more to the atmosphere, brings a little bit more to what you're watching. But at the same time ..."

At that point, Jason cut in and said, "I think they're overdoing it," to which Travis agreed, adding, "They're overdoing it a little bit for sure, especially my situation, [but] I think they're just trying to have fun with it."

Subsequently, the NFL defended the way its social media platforms increased the exposure of the Swift-Kelce narrative saying it was "a pop cultural moment we've leaned into in real time, as it's an intersection of sport and entertainment, and we've seen an incredible amount of positivity around the sport."

Kelce recently featured in WSJ Magazine's new issue and said of Swift, "Obviously, I've never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them.... I've never dealt with it.

"But at the same time, I'm not running away from any of it.... The scrutiny she gets, how much she has a magnifying glass on her, every single day, paparazzi outside her house, outside every restaurant she goes to, after every flight she gets off, and she's just living, enjoying life," Kelce told the publication.

"When she acts like that, I better not be the one acting all strange."

It was the first time the professional football player has gone public with the fact that he and Swift are dating, even though it had been assumed, especially after footage of Swift running to kiss him after her "Eras Tour" concert in Buenos Aires went viral.

Kelce and Kansas City, who have a 7-3 record heading into Week 12 of the NFL regular season, will take on the Las Vegas Raiders at Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday.

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