The National Football League has long been a pillar of American entertainment, capturing the hearts of millions with its mix of athleticism, strategy and raw power. Recently, however, there has been a notable shift in the coverage of the NFL, with a focus increasingly more on celebrity sightings and less on the game itself.
This trend was highlighted this week by former NFL star and current sports analyst Rob Gronkowski, who expressed dissatisfaction with the excessive coverage of pop star Taylor Swift during NFL games. Speaking on FanDuel’s Up & Adams, Gronkowski stated, “Yes, it’s fine that you show her, but not every single play.”
Guys, I'm starting to think that the NFL is over doing it pic.twitter.com/YpbUoRKRDw
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) October 22, 2023
The relationship between Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce has dominated headlines. CBS has taken full advantage of this by consistently featuring Swift during broadcasts. As Gronkowski noted, “We want more football! That’s my point — show the players, show the players’ celebrations.”
It’s time to boycott the @NFL we sick of y’all cheating for the Kansas City Chiefs and we sick of seeing Taylor Swift every week show the damn game!!! Talk about football @AroundTheNFL @NFLTotalAccess @NFLMedia
— Ray Diggs (@RayDiggs_BOOOM) October 22, 2023
While CBS’s ratings have indeed been impressive when Swift is shown, there is a growing sentiment among football fans that the game should be the focus of broadcasts, not celebrities in attendance. After all, football has always celebrated physical prowess and teamwork, a place where the athletes are the stars. By shifting the focus to celebrities like Swift, broadcasters risk alienating their core audience.
This sentiment is echoed by Jason Whitlock of Blaze Media’s Fearless, who argues that including celebrities like Swift is part of a larger agenda to change the nature of football. According to Whitlock, “They want to make America a globalist country that’s anti-nationalism, that’s anti-God.” While Whitlock’s stance is certainly more extreme than that of Gronkowski, it underscores the concern that the NFL is losing touch with its roots.
Of course, celebrities have always been a part of the NFL experience, with many stars often seen attending games. However, the difference now is the extent to which the broadcasts focus on these celebrities, often at the expense of the actual game.
This shift is part of a larger trend in entertainment, where celebrity culture has become increasingly pervasive. It is not uncommon to see athletes and entertainers crossing over into each other’s realms, with musicians performing at halftime shows and athletes appearing in television and film.
While there is undoubtedly a place for celebrity in the world of sports, it should not come at the expense of the game itself. Football fans tune in to watch their favorite teams compete, not to see which celebrity is in attendance. The NFL would do well to remember this and ensure that the focus remains on the game, the athletes, and the fans who make it all possible.