Stephen A. Smith isn’t playing when it comes to Taylor Swift. The sports analyst recently hit back at certain NFL fans who’ve complained about the pop star’s attendance at Travis Kelce‘s Kansas City Chiefs games, insisting that her presence may even have a “positive impact” on the tight end’s playing.
“I have to take a moment to come to the defense of Taylor Swift,” a fired-up Smith said on ESPN’s First Take on Wednesday (Jan. 10). “Everybody’s sitting up there and acting like she’s some kind of impediment — excuse me, she did her job! That Eras Tour? Off the chain. Generated billions.”
“She’s going to support her dude,” he continued. “To show up at a game and the cameras are on her — that ain’t her fault! And excuse me, by the way, she went to the games after the concerts. It’s not like she used the games to bump up the concerts. Oh no! Those kids were going to her concerts whether the NFL was promoting her or not!”
Smith’s defense of Swift comes amid speculation that the “Anti-Hero” singer’s much-publicized visits to Arrowhead Stadium have been too distracting, be it for Kelce, his teammates or football fans. Earlier on in her relationship with Kelce, the NFL’s zoomed-in coverage of the star was a complaint among some viewers, and it was even the subject of a bombed joke from host Jo Koy at the Golden Globes Sunday (Jan. 7).
“The big difference between the Golden Globes and the NFL? At the Golden Globes, we have fewer camera shots of Taylor Swift,” the comedian quipped as cameras cut to Swift, who reacted with a cold stare.
It’s something that the 12-time Grammy winner herself addressed in her December Person of the Year cover story. “I’m just there to support Travis … I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads and Chads,” she told the publication.
And for all intents and purposes, it seems like Smith agrees. “Taylor Swift is that girl,” he added. “Let’s show some respect. She probably is gonna have a positive impact on Travis Kelce’s performance, OK? I’m not trying to disrespect Taylor Swift.”
See Smith defend Swift below: