A dad, who is retired from the Army, says people who hate Taylor Swift "for existing" are bad models for little girls.
Since they began dating in mid-2023, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift have supported each other's careers: Kelce has attended Eras tour performances and Swift cheers from a stadium suite during Chiefs games.
Swifties have loved seeing Travis rocking out at her concerts, for instance, as in November 2023 when Swift tweaked a song lyric to "Karma is the guy on the Chiefs coming straight home to me" and later ran into his arms.
Swift’s presence at football games, however, has rattled some spectators who say she is featured in too many camera shots from her seat, which is distracting.
Robert People, a retired military journalist, author and father in Florida addressed Swift criticism in a TikTok video with more than 1 million views.
“Those of you people out there, especially grown men, expressing all this nasty, ridiculous hate for Taylor Swift just for existing and supporting her boyfriend in the NFL, keep in mind, Taylor Swift’s not gonna see or hear any of that," he said in the video. "But you know who will? Your daughters.”
People explained how criticism deflates kids who admire Swift.
"And with all this juvenile hate you’re showing Taylor Swift for simply being there, you’re encouraging your daughters to shrink themselves, reduce who they are. Because if they do anything more than that, if they just decide to be themselves, they’re gonna get a whole lot of hate from not only the world but from people just like you: their own parents. We need to do better, straight up.”
People tells TODAY.com that he considered how girls like his 16-year-old daughter perceive negativity of Swift.
"My daughter watches football with me and pays attention to everything I do," says People. He says when girls hear complaints over Swift attending a football game they might hear, "Everything that Taylor Swift is, I can't be."
According to People, slamming Swift is demoralizing for girls who love sports. The question they might wonder, says People, is, "Do I really belong here?" in the male-centric space.
People argues that hating Swift isn't just a parenting issue.
"It's wrong to treat anyone this way," he tells TODAY.com. "If you don't know much about her, then don't say anything. She's a human being and people reduce her humanity."
In fact, People says he wants his daughter to have "powerful and successful" role models like Swift.
In August, the singer gave at least 50 truck drivers working on her tour, $100,000 bonus checks, along with hand-written letters, Shomotion trucking company CEO Mike Scherkenbach told TODAY.com. As “People" magazine reported, the checks totaled more than $55 million. Swift also made headlines for donating money to a California food bank.
People clarifies that Swift is a neutral subject in his home: his daughter loves K-Pop and hip-hop and his loyalty is to the Baltimore Ravens, whose 17-10 loss to the Chiefs on Jan. 28 ended their Super Bowl run. The Chiefs play the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas on Sunday, Feb. 11.
In a video response to a TikToker who said their daughter doesn't listen to Swift's music, People said, "What does that have to do with men, mostly men being nasty and foul and threatening ... toward Taylor Swift when they're watching football?"
People added, "Young boys are going to hear how you address these women celebrities and they're going to say, 'Oh, my dad is doing it ... that's how I should go about my business."
Swift and Kelce are going about theirs, as the athlete said in a Jan. 26 press conference: “The only thing we’ve talked about is, as long as we’re happy we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise."