NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Praises Taylor Swift: “Nothing But a Positive”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell praised Taylor Swift during his annual Super Bowl week press conference on Monday, saying “it’s great” for the singer to join his football league’s fandom.

“Both Travis and Taylor are wonderful young people,” Goodell said, referring to Swift’s relationship with Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce. “They seem very happy. She knows great entertainment, and I think that’s why she loves NFL football.”

Goodell’s comments come after months of heightened ratings for the NFL, which many attribute to Swift attending Chiefs games beginning in September. Following her first appearance at a game on Sept. 24, the NFL’s official apparel partner, Fanatics, saw a 400 percent spike in sales of Kelce jerseys. Since then, many fans have begun to criticize the NFL for dedicating chunks of its broadcast to shots of her in the box.

Goodell was clear on Monday that he doesn’t attribute the NFL’s growth entirely to Swift. “It’s because of the great competition,” he said. “The competition has been off the charts this year. We’ve had 70 games, I think 70 percent of our games have been within one score in the fourth quarter. The young stars, older stars. There are amazing performances by our teams, you see all that? That’s what fans will ultimately love.”

He went on to say that “the Taylor Swift effect is also a positive,” adding that “it’s great to have her a part of it. Obviously it creates a buzz, it creates another group of young fans, particularly young women that are interested in seeing, ‘Why is she going to this game?’ ‘Why is she interested in this game besides Travis?’ She’s a football fan. And I think that’s great for us.”

In regards to claims that Swift’s presence is scripted by the NFL, Goodell said “there’s no way” he could have orchestrated the pop star’s attendance.

“I don’t think I’m that good at scripting, or anybody on our staff,” he said.

Goodell also added a few words of more personal praise for the singer: “She’s a remarkable performer. She knows great entertainment,” he said. “I had the opportunity to go to two of her concerts with our girls and my wife. She is the best of the best… having her come to NFL games, having her be part of that is nothing but a positive.”

The Chiefs take on the San Francisco 49ers at the Super Bowl in Las Vegas on Sunday. Swift is scheduled to perform in Tokyo earlier that week, but many believe she will fly back to the U.S. to support Kelce.

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