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Fact check: Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce and the Super Bowl

February 12, 2024

There are countless conspiracy theories circulating online about US singer Taylor Swift. Since her relationship with Travis Kelce became public, many of these have been related to the NFL. DW fact checked three of them.

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift walk together on the field after a game, smiling
Taylor Swift was in the crowd when Travis Kelce's Kansas City Chiefs won the AFC championship gameImage: Julio Cortez/AP/picture alliance

As the Kansas City Chiefs took to the field to defend their Super Bowl title against the San Francisco 49ers in Las Vegas on Sunday, pop megastar Taylor Swift was in the stands to cheer on her partner, Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce.

Since it became known that the two are a couple, there has been plenty of hype about Swift and her visits to Chiefs' games. She flew in to Sunday's championship after performing in Tokyo on Saturday night.

Their very public love affair has led some to make some rather dubious claims.

Did Taylor Swift make fun of the Baltimore Ravens?

Claim: Taylor Swift wore a T-shirt on a concert stage that read "Who's the Ravens anyway? Ew."

Background: The Baltimore Ravens are the team the Chiefs beat in the AFC championship game on January 28 to reach the Super Bowl.

Two photos of Taylor Swift wearing two different T-shirts
The post of Swift wearing the T-shirt referring to the Baltimore Ravens was fakeImage: Tiktok/X

DW fact check: Fake.

The short video clip posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, which was viewed around 1 million times, has obviously been manipulated. We found the original video on TikTok using a reverse image search. It was posted in March 2023 and shows what the T-shirt really says: "Who is Taylor Swift anyway? Ew."

Thousands of Swifties, as fans of the pop icon call themselves, already knew this because they had seen her wearing the T-shirt on stage during the Eras Tour, Swift's sixth concert tour. Swift wears the T-shirt during "22," a song about a night of partying. At one point, a voice from the background interjects: "Who is Taylor Swift anyway? Ew."

However, the fake referring to the outcome of the AFC championship game may also seem plausible, as the Chiefs had little trouble with the Ravens in their 17-10 win. Couldn't Swift have in fact worn a T-shirt with different wording at one of her concerts?

In addition to the original video, the fact that the timing doesn't add up is another argument against this possibility. Swift put her concert tour on pause following a stop in South America at the end of November. It was only this week that she resumed her tour with concerts in Japan. However, the AFC championship game was played on January 28 and the video was posted on February 4.

Did the megastar have a police escort to an NFL game?

Claim: Taylor Swift was escorted to an NFL stadium by the police. This was suggested in another post on X, in which a video shows a motorcade being escorted by police vehicles. The text reads: "Taylor Swift arrives at Arrowhead Stadium to see her boyfriend Travis Kelce in Kansas City tonight."

Twitter posts showing a car being escorted by police
The person who aimed to spread this rumor couldn't be bothered to digitally manipulate the videoImage: X

DW fact check: False.

The video shows former US President Donald Trump on his way to a primary vote in Des Moines, Iowa.

The original video was distributed by Trump's deputy communications director, Margo Martin, on January 14 via X with the caption: "President @realDonaldTrump arrives in Des Moines!" A day later, the Republican Party in Iowa held its caucuses. The video also shows a road sign with the inscription "George Flagg." The "George Flagg Parkway" is the road that leads from the airport to downtown Des Moines.

The person who sought to link the video to Swift and her newfound passion for football didn't even go to the trouble of digitally manipulating its contents. They simply posted it, with a misleading caption. Under the video is a direct link to the original post by Margo Martin.

Did Taylor Swift pose half naked among football fans?

Claim: Numerous pictures are circulating that allegedly show Taylor Swift painted red and wearing nothing but a thong amid thousands of Kansas City Chiefs fans.

DW fact check: Fake.

There is no evidence that Swift has ever put herself in such a situation and allowed herself to be photographed. Even without investigative tools, you can ask yourself the question: How can it be that there are only a few, heavily staged "pictures" of the scene? Wouldn't at least a handful of the tens of thousands of stadium visitors have documented it with their phones and posted them online?

There is also plenty of evidence that all these images were generated using artificial intelligence. Some details appear distorted, numbers are displayed incorrectly and body parts have ended up in unnatural positions. We previously published a detailed fact-check article on this topic.

This article was originally written in German.

This article was updated on Feburar 12, 2023, after the Super Bowl was concluded.

DW-Redakteur Jan D. Walter Kommentarbild App PROVISORISCH
Jan D. Walter Editor and reporter for national and international politics and member of DW's fact-checking team.