Taylor Swift Breaks Silence on Travis Kelce Relationship: ‘We’re Showing Up for Each Other … We’re Just Proud of Each Other’

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After endless rumors, speculation and countless camera pans to Taylor Swift cheering on Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce from the family skybox over the past few months, the singer finally opened up about her relationship with the NFL star in an interview for TIME magazine’s 2023 Person of the Year cover story.

“This all started when Travis very adorably put me on blast on his podcast, which I thought was metal as hell … We started hanging out right after that,” Swift said of a July 26 episode of Kelce’s New Heights podcast in which he recounted his failed attempt to woo the singer by making a special friendship bracelet for the July 9 Eras Tour show he attended at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City. “So we actually had a significant amount of time that no one knew, which I’m grateful for, because we got to get to know each other. By the time I went to that first game, we were a couple. I think some people think that they saw our first date at that game? We would never be psychotic enough to hard launch a first date,” she continued in one of her first in-depth interviews in four years.

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Kelce said at the time that he was “butt hurt” that Swift doesn’t speak to anyone before or after the shows to preserve her voice. “She doesn’t meet anybody, or at least she didn’t want to meet me, so I took it personal,” he said on the podcast.

They did, obviously, meet soon after, and Swift described how they’ve shown up for each other in the months since, with the pop star attending half a dozen Chiefs games and Kelce flying down to Buenos Aires, Argentina, on Nov. 11 during a bye week to see another Eras gig. “When you say a relationship is public, that means I’m going to see him do what he loves, we’re showing up for each other, other people are there and we don’t care,” she said in in her first public remarks of the relationship. “The opposite of that is you have to go to an extreme amount of effort to make sure no one knows that you’re seeing someone. And we’re just proud of each other.”

And, about those suite shots that have become a staple of the NFL’s coverage of the couple, Swift said she doesn’t even understand how camera operators know where she’s sitting during the games. “There’s a camera, like, a half-mile away, and you don’t know where it is, and you have no idea when the camera is putting you in the broadcast, so I don’t know if I’m being shown 17 times or once,” she said of the now-ubiquitous footage of her hanging with Kelce’s mom and KC QB Patrick Mahomeswife, Brittany. “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 … Football is awesome, it turns out … I’ve been missing out my whole life.”

TIME‘s editor-in-chief Sam Jacobs noted in an introduction that the Person of the Year has typically been a “ruler over traditional domains of power,” such as a politician or a titan of industry. But in choosing Swift, Jacobs said the star found a way to “transcend borders and be a source of light,” calling her a “rare person who is both the writer and hero of her own story.”

In the story, Swift also touches on the intense preparations she did for the Eras Tour and the completely drained feeling after each gig that leaves her in bed the whole next day, as well as the emotional spiral she was sent into by Kanye West’s sexist “Famous” lyrical shoutout and how she was “so knocked on my a–” by the $300 million sale of her catalog to Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings.

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