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Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

Student newspaper serving Tulane University, Uptown New Orleans

The Tulane Hullabaloo

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Do NFL fans really hate Taylor Swift or do they hate women?

The pop icon has come under scrutiny for her consistent attendance at Kansas City Chiefs games this season (Nathan Rich)

“One day, you’ll do something greater than dating the boy on the football team.” This iconic line from “Fifteen” of Taylor Swift’s breakout album, “Fearless” characterizes Swift’s immense success since her second studio album was released in 2009. Over the past 15 years, Taylor Swift has dominated the music industry with over 26 billion streams and earned over $1 billion dollars.

Alongside her immense fame and success, public scrutiny has always followed Taylor Swift. In 2016, Kim Kardashain posted a — since proven false — clipped video of Taylor Swift agreeing to Kanye West’s “Famous” line about Swift: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex. Why? I made that [expletive] famous.”  The song’s music video features a fake model of her naked body in the adjoining music video. In response to Kim Kardashian’s attacks, masses of people deemed Taylor Swift a “snake” and spammed her social media with angry comments.  

In her 20s, critics slut-shamed Swift to the point where she had to make a statement: “The jokes about my amount of boyfriends. The trivialization of my songwriting as if it were a predatory act of a boy crazy psychopath. The media co-signing of this narrative. I had to make it stop because it was starting to really hurt.” 

From edited phone calls to blatant slut-shaming, the media has put Taylor Swift through the wringer.

Most recently, the pop icon has come under scrutiny for her consistent attendance at Kansas City Chiefs games this season to support her boyfriend, Travis Kelce.

Her attendance has sparked angry online rants, right-wing conspiracies and even disgusting AI images. Social media posts related to the Chiefs, Kelce or Swift garner comments like “Ok, they won. Can you now stop posting pictures of this woke, no talent hag?” or “Yelling at his coach and being Taylor Swift’s boy toy is the only thing he’s known for in this whole game.”  

NFL fans are stating that Taylor Swift’s 54 seconds of screen time has “ruined football.” Seeing a woman supporting her partner has apparently ruined the sport they love so dearly.

NFL fans further retaliated for Swift’s supposed sin of watching a football game: they created fake AI-generated images of Swift being sexually assaulted in the stands. With the sophistication of AI, these images are beyond realistic and horrifying. These images do not just hurt Taylor Swift; they hurt all women. Revenge porn has grown rapidly in the past years, and the proliferation of AI rape images, a result of male annoyance, has terrifying implications.

On top of this, many NFL fans have now deemed the NFL as liberal, corrupt and scripted for giving 54 seconds of screen time each game to arguably one of the most famous women in the world. Some fans of the NFL decided that Swift and Kelce’s relationship is simply for public relations, and she deceptively plans to use her deceptive platform to endorse Joe Biden.

A recent article described University of Colorado Boulder Professor Jamie Skerski’s view on the matter:

“Skerski said seeing a player like Kelce happily take a backseat to Swift’s stardom challenges gender roles in relationships — a harsh wake-up call for some NFL fans. And while Swift may never hear their harsh words, derogatory comments and spiteful sayings — wives, sisters and daughters will.” 

The article eloquently describes the reality of NFL fans’ unjust temper tantrums. Taylor Swift will continue to be successful and enjoy her time at Chiefs games; angry NFL fans only upset themselves and the women around them.

Taylor Swift’s presence has created a drastic increase in female viewership. Sixty-four percent — the highest rate ever — of Gen Z and millennial women now hold a favorable view of the NFL. Why are men not happy about this? Why do NFL fans feel that only men deserve to view these games? Taylor Swift is doing more for football than just dating a player; she’s encouraging young girls and diversifying sports viewership, which is a good thing.

Many people dislike Taylor Swift, and I’m not trying to change your personal opinion. Rather, it is time for people to consider: Does the punishment fit the crime? Does she deserve a constant beratement for simply attending a few football games? 

Taylor Swift is not ruining football. But to think that a tiny Taylor Swift cutaway suggests the demise of the sport, a tilted organization or even a liberal agenda may ruin the game for fans unwilling to make room for reality. Football is for everyone, even Taylor Swift. 

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