“As long as we’re happy, we can’t listen to anything that’s outside noise,” Kelce, 34, told reporters during a Friday, January 26, press conference when asked how he and Swift, also 34, handle their relationship being thrust into the spotlight.
While Kelce and Swift have chosen to ignore the chatter around their relationship, the NFL star admitted that “dealing with everyone else’s perspective on things” can be a “challenge,” especially when critics try to tie his on-field performance to his personal life.
“If we’re not having success, maybe throw it out there that I wasn’t focused or that the team isn’t focused,” he explained. “[But] if you’re in this building, you know exactly what’s going on. So you got to compartmentalize and make sure you’re staying on task and giving everybody in the building and on that team the right perception.”
Kelce and Swift have certainly caused a media frenzy since they began dating in summer 2023, but even separate from his romance with the pop star, Kelce has made a name for himself outside of football. After taking home the Super Bowl LVII trophy alongside the rest of the Kansas City Chiefs last year, he signed on as the face of the biopharmaceutical company Pfizer and even achieved a lifelong dream of hosting Saturday Night Live.
Kelce is well aware that his celebrity status has shifted. “I’d be silly to say I didn’t see it go up,” he said. “Obviously, how I live my life off-field definitely helps.”
Still, having “fun” with his new fame doesn’t mean his priorities have changed. Kelce is currently gearing up for the AFC Championship game on Sunday, January 28, where the Chiefs will face off against the Baltimore Ravens. If the Chiefs win, they’ll have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title on Sunday, February 11.
“The biggest thing is making sure that my focus is right here in this building,” Kelce said on Friday.
The athlete could dabble in more career opportunities during the offseason — but that doesn’t mean retirement is anywhere in sight.
“as long as we’re happy we can’t listen to any outside noise” pic.twitter.com/uCEiL0rtMK
— Tayvis Nation (@tayvisnation) January 26, 2024
“I have no reason to stop playing football,” Kelce said during a January 11 press conference. “I’ve been fortunate to do a few things outside of the sports world that I’ve been enjoying doing, like getting on camera … but it’s funny for me to even say that at this point in my career because I think it’s so much further down the road than it is right now.”
Global stardom may be new for Kelce, but he’s been a household name for football fans since he was drafted into the NFL in 2013. Regardless of his teammate’s popularity level, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes says Kelce is still the same person he’s always been.
“Travis has always been Travis,” Mahomes, 28, told reporters on Wednesday, January 24, per NBC Sports’ Pro Football Talk. “He’s been himself the whole time. He’s still Travis Kelce. He’ll still walk through the stadium and treat everyone like they’re his best friend and he’s always going to be like that. It hasn’t been any different to me.”
He added, “I’ve come to work every single day and lucky enough that I have a lot of great players around me, and Travis is one of them.”