When you believe everything is a conspiracy, then your beliefs don’t stop at global events, political machinations, or billionaire plots. They only start there, extending to every aspect of everything you see around you—even a football player maybe dating a pop singer.
After all, to the conspiracy believer, football is part of the bread and circuses that “they” use to keep us distracted and docile, while pop music is the vehicle for delivering their secret messages and indoctrination. And when the football player publicly advocated for taking the latest booster for the COVID-19 vaccine starts possibly dating the pop singer who has publicly advocated for young people to register to vote, then the conspiracy theories practically write themselves.
Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce already drew the ire of the anti-vaccine community when he appeared in a Pfizer-sponsored ad advocating people get their new COVID boosters and flu shots at the same time. Once posted on Instagram, the spot drew so many hateful and conspiratorial replies that the comments were turned off, with Kelce relentlessly attacked on social media for “selling his soul” to push the “clot shot” among other unevidenced theories about the side effects of vaccination.
Likewise, Taylor Swift—who was once been a darling of far-right trolls and neo-Nazis who referred to her as an “Aryan goddess”—became an outspoken Democrat and continues to advocate for progressive causes and voter registration.
Since then, she endorsed Democratic politicians, LGBTQ rights, and other liberal stances.
Once the duo began allegedly dating—the status of the relationship hasn’t been confirmed by anyone involved—the football and music worlds went wild with references, jokes, Swift song titles, and memes. Their every glance and gesture at the Sept. 24 Chiefs-Bears game Swift attended got analyzed and picked apart like a pop culture Zapruder film.
And the conspiracy world went wild as well, with conspiracy theories about him, the two of them, the vaccine, and how it all connected.
Reddit forum r/conspiracy hosted nearly a dozen different threads on the Kelce-Swift pairing and its link to the rollout of the new COVID booster—no surprise, given that the vaccine is the subject of some of the forum’s most popular posts ever.
“Kelce accepted the level-up deal. Shill for Pfizer and Bud Light and in return he gets money and to pretend to have Taylor Swift as his girlfriend for two months” blared one thread with hundreds of comments, also referencing Kelce’s support for the beer that drew the ire of American transphobes for its partnership with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
It continued with other conspiracy theorists and influencers, as Charlie Kirk referred to Kelce’s “disturbing” advocacy for the “mRNA gene-altering shot” (the COVID vaccine does not alter genes), conservative sports influencer Clay Travis claimed Kelce should “become a chick, and endorse Joe Biden,” and former ESPN personality turned BlazeTV host Jason Whitlock castigated the tight end for “promoting the vaccine given all the data about the injuries and whatnot.”
On X, countless conspiracy influencers went to town on the idea of Swift and Kelce being paired up by the dark cabal or Big Pharma as some kind of psychological warfare tactic or desperate ploy to push the newest round of death shots.
According to multiple viral tweets, Kelce got “$20 million” for the Pfizer ad (it was a paid promotion that numerous other entertainers and public figures took part in), went along with the plot because the deep state “had dirt” on him, or he was “rewarded” for his vaccine push with getting to date Swift—a proposition that strips the singer, who is far more well-known than Kelce, of her own agency. Many doubted his “alpha male” status or questioned why someone healthy and in their early 30s would get a booster.
A few even believed it to be an engineered distraction to keep the masses from looking into “what’s really going on.”
Many celebrities and public figures advocated for COVID boosters, either in interviews or ad campaigns. So why is the conspiracy theory community obsessed with the potential of a relationship between these two?
For the same reason all of society is. Any massive cultural moment is sure to attract conspiracies, as celebrity can be used a a vector to suck people in who otherwise might not click on outlandish nonsense.
Kelce being outspoken on far-right bugaboos like Bud Light and vaccines and Swift being an outspoken Democrat with a real talent for getting young people to register to vote makes it almost—if you’re inclined to see nefarious ties—impossible not to believe the two of them worked together to engineer a liberal agenda dominates in the near future.
Of course, those searching for evil ploys might just be missing what’s obviously out in front of them.
Swift has a new record coming out soon, and she’s never been one to shy away from stoking the internet’s attention for good press.
It would be no surprise if this was more of the same.
Or, it is possible that two famous, attractive people just want to hang out.