Chiefs President Says Travis Kelce ‘Can Handle’ Attention from Rumored Taylor Swift Romance (Exclusive)



Kansas City Chiefs President Mark Donovan tells PEOPLE Kelce is handling his skyrocketing fame “professionally” amid his rumored relationship with Taylor Swift

Travis Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs are handling the Taylor Swift era with professionalism, the team’s President Mark Donovan tells PEOPLE.

Speaking to PEOPLE at MetLife Stadium before the matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and New York Jets, Donovan says his team isn’t worried about the media frenzy surrounding Kelce, 33, and Taylor Swift’s rumored relationship, and if it might become a distraction for the team.  “Travis is a smart team player,” says Donovan of the Chiefs tight end. “He can handle it and has been very professional.”

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Despite the attention surrounding Swift and Kelce’s rumored romance, Donovan insists the NFL star is “focused on the right things and doing it the right way,” he says. “Our locker room has the maturity, leadership and respect to handle it.”


Instead of a distraction, the Chiefs President, who has been in the role since 2011, says the extra focus on Kansas City’s games “has been fun and good for everybody involved.” Viewership skyrocketed when Swift attended her first game on Sept. 24 at Arrowhead Stadium.  According to FOX Sports, the game was the week’s highest-rated telecast on any network, with 24.3 million viewers. Despite the 41-10 trouncing over the Chicago Bears, the game especially captivated female viewers, ages 12 to 49, the network said.


Donovan says it’s a “real benefit” to have more young, female fans tuning into the NFL hoping to catch a glimpse of Swift on the broadcast.  In his first public comments since being spotted with Swift on his weekly podcast New Heights with Jason and Travis Kelce Presented by Wave Sports + Entertainment, Kelce shared that “it is my personal life and I wanna respect both of our lives,” adding that he’ll be returning his focus to purely NFL-related content on future podcast episodes.

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“I know I brought all this attention to me. Right, I’m the one — I did the whole friendship bracelet thing and told everybody how butt hurt I was that I didn’t get to meet Taylor.”


Kelce addressed the fan frenzy around him and Swift again during a team press conference on Friday, saying that he’s “learning” how to navigate “paparazzi just taking photos from all over the place” after photographers have begun waiting for him at his Kansas City home.  The tight end added that he understands it’s all part of the territory that comes with Swift’s level of fame. “At the same time, it comes with it. It comes with it. You’ve got a lot of people that care about Taylor, and for good reason.”

Going forward, the NFL star said he’s “just got to keep living and learning and enjoying the moments” as he and Swift enjoy getting to know one another on a public stage.  Kelce also assured reporters that the possible romance with Swift won’t become a distraction for him during the NFL season. “At the end of the day, I’ve always been pretty good about compartmentalizing and being able to stay focused in this building, so I’ll just keep rolling with that,” he said.


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