KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - OCTOBER 22: Taylor Swift and Brittany Mahomes look on during a game between the Los Angeles Chargers and Kansas City Chiefs at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium on October 22, 2023 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by David Eulitt/Getty Images)
Sportscaster Colin Cowherd is defending Taylor Swift against critics who don’t like the attention she receives for attending NFL games in support of her boyfriend, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.
Speaking on his Fox Sports Radio show The Herd on Tuesday, Cowherd labeled those who are taking issue with Swift’s NFL presence “insecure” and ran through recent analyses of how often Swift actually appears on camera during televised coverage of NFL games.
“There’s a lot of really weird, lonely, insecure men out there,” Cowherd said. “The fact that a pop star—the world’s biggest pop star—is dating a star tight end, who had one of his greatest games ever, and a network puts them on the air briefly, that it bothers you. What does that say about your life?”
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) January 30, 2024
Swift’s presence at Chiefs games has become a frequent point of discussion for NFL fans. While Chiefs owner and CEO Clark Hunt has credited her with helping the team’s female audience grow, not all fans have been thrilled to see her in the stadiums.
Swift herself shrugged off the frustrations of the “dads, Brads and Chads” during an interview for her Time 2023 Person of the Year cover story, telling the magazine she was only attending the games to support her boyfriend.
Cowherd’s lecture for the “insecure” fans appeared to be in response to the latest surge of outrage at how NFL broadcasters showed Swift congratulating Kelce on the field at M&T Bank Stadium after the Chiefs defeated the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship game last weekend.
Cowherd urged his listeners to “judge people” based on “the silly stuff that bothers them” before drawing attention to how little of an average broadcast is actually devoted to football coverage. In addition to the significant role advertisements play during the Super Bowl every year, coverage of other games includes cutaways to the coaches, fan reaction shots and more.
Approximately 18 minutes of football is shown in a regular three-and-a-half-hour broadcast, Cowherd said, which he noted is “about the length of five Taylor Swift songs.” Meanwhile, he pointed to a recent New York Times analysis that found Swift has been shown for an average of 25 seconds per game she’s attended this season.
Cowherd also suggested Swift’s critics are being hypocritical when he noted that male celebrities—such as actor Matthew McConaughey, rapper Drake, director Spike Lee and actor Jack Nicholson—are treated differently by sports fans when they attend games.
“But a talented and beautiful woman is on the air, one who would never pay attention to lonely men, and it bothers them,” Cowherd said.
The anger these critics feel toward Swift “says nothing” about her, he argued, but “says everything about the men bothered by it.”