“Taylor Swift is ruining football!” “She’s just here as a PR stunt!”
Chances are you have seen at least one of these sentiments on your social media feed. In fact, you may be one of the people posting them. But what is it about Taylor Swift that has caused such a maelstrom of hateful comments and strong opinions? After all, what’s so controversial about a woman simply attending her boyfriend’s football game?
It is important to note that I am a new fan of Taylor Swift. Yes, I am in her prime demographic — a millennial woman. In fact, I had often dismissed her music, only listening to the popular bops like “Shake it Off” and “Blank Space” as they played repetitively on the radio while I drove to high school. But, within the last year, I have developed a newfound respect for her and her music.
It is undeniable that she is one of the most unique pop superstars of our generation. She crosses genres with ease and sells out stadiums. Demand for her performances crashes Ticketmaster and causes tickets to soar to the price of a month’s rent. Her new recordings and re-releases of albums continue to dominate the charts. Her fans obsess over the “secret meaning” of her social media posts — a testament to her superior marketing strategy.
So, when Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Swift began their star-studded romance, it was no wonder the NFL wanted to capitalize on one of the biggest money-makers in the world. Swift’s Eras Tour has garnered $1 billion in profit alone — from which she has paid $55 million in bonuses to tour employees and donated groundbreaking amounts to local food banks in every tour location. Additionally, it is believed that her tour boosted the U.S. economy by $4.6 billion, while also driving major benefits for state economies as concert-goers traveled near and far. At the end of the day, the NFL would have been insane to ignore the presence of someone with Swift’s global fame and accolades.
And rightfully so. NFL viewership, particularly among women, has increased by millions each weekend. Merchandise sales have skyrocketed. Articles have even highlighted the opportunity for fathers to connect with their daughters over a mutual interest in sitting down together to watch football on a Sunday afternoon. Yet the naysayers and haters came forth just as quickly. They claim she is ruining the sport and that there is more Taylor Swift coverage than actual football on their screens. Is there any validity to that claim?
In the playoffs against the Miami Dolphins and the New York Bills, Swift was shown 10 times for a grand total of 1 minute and 40 seconds across the two games. Less than 0.5 percent of the NFL coverage showed Taylor Swift. Is this truly the end of football as we know it?
The backlash she’s faced — from boos at the game to people actually burning her picture during tailgates — is only the latest attack on a famous woman who has shown to be immune to the vitriol spewed at her during her career. Unfortunately, many conservatives have decided to take part, further undermining principles we have been fighting to promote.
This public relationship with Kelce has become a fairytale of sorts. It gives young women the opportunity to swoon over a healthy romance in which both partners are actively successful in their field and choose to cheer for one another in their successes and lend support in failure. What more could conservatives ask for in a society dominated by messages that consistently demean healthy relationships?
The conservative movement has received an extraordinary real-world example of two successful individuals who have made a name for themselves, actively demonstrate a healthy romantic relationship on national television, and encourage greater family connection between fathers and daughters. Instead, the movement is blinded by its aversion to Swift. Why? Just because she holds a different political viewpoint? That further drives the ever-increasing partisan divide we should be looking to mend. Yet, some push even further, elevating their criticisms to a conspiracy theory craze — all to demean a self-made singer and the hard work of an entire football team just because one of the players is in a relationship with her.
For the many who are quick to criticize Swift’s attendance at these games, we should be asking why this is so offensive. Because, at the end of the day, she is simply a woman attending a game to support her boyfriend. And I hope she continues to feel at liberty to do so.
Jaimie Erker is director of communications at the Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. The views expressed by the author are her own and do not represent the views of Centennial Institute or Colorado Christian University.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller.