Kelly Clarkson wishes the NFL was more focused on football than on Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s romance.
“It’s not hilarious how it is literally taking over the NFL for people that like watching sports now,” Clarkson, 41, admitted on the Friday, October 20, episode of The Kelly Clarkson Show, referring to how the couple’s relationship has been at the center of recent NFL coverage.
Clarkson noted that the heightened attention on Swift, 33, and Kelce, 34, feels like “watching Housewives while you’re watching football,” adding, “They’re just talking about gossip things and you’re like, ‘So, what about the play?’”
Kelce initially expressed his interest in Swift when he revealed in July that he tried to give her a friendship bracelet with his phone number on it when she brought her Eras Tour to Kansas City. He later invited Swift to see him and the Kansas City Chiefs play, an offer she took up by attending the team’s September 24 game against the Chicago Bears. She has since supported Kelce at two other games, most recently sitting alongside his parents, Donna and Ed Kelce, when the Chiefs played the Denver Broncos on October 12.
The duo seemingly made things official earlier this month by stepping out for two date nights in New York City. They each made surprise cameos on the Saturday, October 14, episode of Saturday Night Live and were spotted holding hands after a dinner date the following night.
SNL star Bowen Yang, who appeared on The Kelly Clarkson Show on Friday, told Clarkson the cast was unaware Swift and Kelce were coming until the day of the season 49 premiere. “I round the corner, they’re at the Page desk, and I’m like, ‘Oh, there’s two of the tallest people I’ve ever seen. Who is that?’ I was, like, in the Redwood Forest or something,’” Yang, 32, joked on Friday.
He continued: “And then, I was like, ‘Oh, my goodness. Wow, it’s them. OK, they’re here,’ and it was wild.”
Clarkson wrapped up the interview by praising Swift and her fans for spreading kindness through friendship bracelets — a movement that began at the start of Swift’s The Eras Tour earlier this year.
“People are so into it. … She’s got such an incredible street team,” Clarkson stated. “I think we’ve all been a fan of her music. She’s a great writer. She’s had so many great songs.”
Before fans spotted Swift in the stands at the Chiefs vs. Broncos game, sports broadcaster Al Michaels revealed that conversations were had about how much of the spotlight Swift should have on game day. “You can’t make a sideshow the show. The vast majority of the audience are tuning in to watch a football game,” Michaels, 78, told Sports Illustrated on October 12. “There are people, I don’t know how many, it could be a sizable number, but it’s certainly not a majority, that if you trained the camera on her all night long, they’d be satisfied with that. This is not what we’re doing to do.”
The NFL, meanwhile, has defended its decision to lean into coverage of the couple. “We frequently change our bios and profile imagery based on what’s happening in and around our games, as well as culturally,” the league said in an October 4 statement. “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.”