Shannon Sharpe, Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift's public influence began a major topic of discussion for NFL stars Shannon Sharpe and Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson after the former shared that he thought that Beyoncé wouldn't've brought in money for the NFL to the same degree that Swift has while attending games.
The debate started on their podcast, Nightcap, as they talked about how much money Swift has made for the Chiefs and the NFL by coming to the games and getting new audiences interested in football.
"It's crazy, what she's been able to do for the NFL from a different perspective of those that don't even watch [the game]," said Johnson, before Sharpe asked him to name another celebrity who would have the same economic effect on the NFL as Swift.
Johnson confidently declared, "Beyoncé," before Sharpe shut him down, shaking his head and saying, "I love Beyoncé, [but] Beyoncé ain't moving the needle like this chick!... She's the closest thing to moving the needle like Michael Jackson that we've seen."
In response to Sharpe's bold statement, Johnson said, "Reel it back in a little bit. Beyoncé moves the needle just like Taylor, if not more." The two continued a passionate debate, discussing profits from tours and other factors, but neither could convince the other of their opinion.
Fans continued the conversation in the comments, with some siding with Sharpe and others with Johnson.
"Shannon is spot on about Taylor Swift. These off topics show the level of expertise Shannon has. He didn't just say what he said off the cuff, he knew what he was talking about," said one who understood Sharpe's argument.
Someone leaning the other direction shared their take, mentioning other factors like Swift's romance with Travis Kelce, saying, "Love ya Unc, but Ocho is right about Beyonce. If she was dating a player. BUT Taylor Swift is hotter, commercially, right now. Additionally, her dating Travis has helped HER too. The sum is greater than the individual parts here."
Whether you agree or disagree with Sharpe's stance, Swift bringing plenty of fresh attention and new fans to the NFL over this past season is undeniable.