Taylor Swift has been accused of “disenchanting” NFL fans by American football veteran Kevin Dungy.
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The pop sensation has made headlines in recent months for her numerous appearances at Kansas City Chiefs games after she started dating tight end Travis Kelce.
Swift first attended a game back in September, and has been regularly spotted cheering on Kelce in suites and the stands at games since then.
Speaking with Fox News, former professional football player and coach Dungy was asked about a poll that revealed less than 25 per cent of Gen Z considered themselves “avid sports fans”.
“I think we’ll always have sports in some form or fashion. Some people are disenchanted with it,” Dungy said (per USA Today).
When asked specific about the Taylor Swift effect, he added: “That’s the thing that’s disenchanting people with sports now.
“There’s so much on the outside coming in. Entertainment value and different things that’s taking away from what really happens on the field.”
The sports veteran’s comments come after an ESPN host defended Swift after being called a “distraction” to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Elle Duncan defended the pop star from the claims on her podcast. “Do not blame Taylor Swift for being a ‘distraction’, for Travis Kelce not playing well, for the Chiefs playing good,” she said on the The Elle Duncan Show (via Deadline). ‘No, it is not her fault.”
Back in October, the NFL defended its coverage as Kelce said they were “overdoing it a bit”.
Last week, meanwhile, Golden Globes host Jo Koy insisted that he wasn’t making fun of Swift after a joke during his poorly received opening monologue.
“The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? On the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift… there’s just more to go to here,” he said.
Swift’s icy reaction later went viral on social media, with Koy coming under heavy criticism.
Kelce himself recently spoke out about Swift being booed while attending a recent game. “There might have been a few Brads and Chads that were booing. But for the most part, everyone was fucking screaming their tail off for her,” he said on his New Heights podcast.