Travis Kelce is opening up about his relationship with Taylor Swift and sharing what attracts him to the pop star the most. Although the Kansas City Chiefs tight end says he’s been more guarded with the media regarding Taylor, he can’t help but gush about the singer and spill some insight into their blossoming romance.
In a new cover story for WSJ. Magazine’s December/January issue, on newsstands Dec. 9, Travis is interviewed by Pulitzer-winning author J.R. Moehringer — who recently co-authored Prince Harry‘s memoir, Spare. The athlete praises the Billboard Music Award winner, calling her “hilarious,” “a genius,” and notes that they share compatible worldviews.
It’s Taylor’s dedication to her family and her work that Travis finds the most endearing. “Everybody knows I’m a family guy,” he tells WSJ. Magazine. “Her team is her family. Her family does a lot of stuff in terms of the tour, the marketing, being around, so I think she has a lot of those values as well, which is right up my alley.”
“She writes catchy jingles,” he later adds. “I’ve never been a man of words. Being around her, seeing how smart Taylor is, has been f**king mind-blowing. I’m learning every day.”
Travis also explains why he has been uncharacteristically reserved when asked about Taylor in recent months. “That was the biggest thing to me: make sure I don’t say anything that would push Taylor away,” he says.
“Obviously I’ve never dated anyone with that kind of aura about them… I’ve never dealt with it,” he also shares. “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. When she acts like that I better not be the one acting all strange.”
Travis’ famous family members were also interviewed for the profile. His brother — Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, with whom he co-hosts the podcast New Heights — says that Travis is “always kind of surrounding himself with people who are funny, who have a zest for life; it’s one of the things that defines him.”
Their mother, Donna Kelce, gushes that Travis is “happier than I’ve seen him in a long time.”
Public fascination surrounding the new couple has sparked a media frenzy, causing a growing controversy surrounding the NFL’s focus on the couple’s romance during games.
Travis himself acknowledged the heightened attention during an episode of New Heights. During the podcast, Jason raised the question of whether the NFL was “overdoing it” with its Swift-themed promos and constant cutting to the celeb suite throughout the games.
Travis responded, “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 I think–“
Jason interjected, “They’re overdoing it,” with Travis concurring, “They’re overdoing it a little bit for sure, especially my situation. [But] I think they’re just trying to have fun with it.”
Jason also suggested that the NFL may not be accustomed to celebrities attending their games, contrasting it with basketball’s approach, where celebrities are shown briefly and then the focus returns to the game. Jason remarked, “NFL is like, ‘Oh my god, look at all these A-list celebrities at the game, keep showing them, show ’em, show ’em…’ You show them once, let them know they’re there, and after touchdowns you get a little clip, but it can’t be overboard with it. People are there to watch the game, right?”
Travis agreed, pointing out that celebrities, including the usually private Taylor, attend games primarily to enjoy the experience and not to be constantly featured on TV.
The NFL has defended itself in a statement, saying, “We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally. The Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce news has been 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.”
“The vast majority of our content has remained focused on the game, our players and variety of other initiatives, including our Toy Story Funday Football alt-cast, the international games and more.”
Luckily, Travis’ teammates are handling the media storm with good grace.
In an interview for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown show over the weekend, Patrick Mahomes was asked about the budding relationship between the Midnights songstress and his teammate. The two-time Super Bowl champion declared that the high-profile relationship does not distract him and his teammates.
“I’ve been lucky enough to meet Taylor and [know] how good of a person she is,” Patrick told ESPN’s Jeff Darlington. “I think you understand why it’s not become a distraction or anything like that because everybody cares about being the best they can be every day.”