After the two were seen leaving a football game in Kansas City together, Swifties have been in meltdown, particularly as it came after weeks of rumours that the singer and athlete have been “hanging out” together in private for some time.
For those unfamiliar with Travis, the 33-year-old is an American football player who has played the tight end offensive position for the Kansas City Chiefs since 2013, playing with the team when they won the Super Bowl in both 2019 and 2022.
Outside of the sporting world, he also took part in the reality show Catching Kelce in 2016, which followed his search for love.
But how did the award-winning singer and American footballer’s paths first cross? Here’s the story so far…
October 2016: “Taylor Swift would be the kiss”
Yes, this story actually starts way back in 2016.
In order to find out what Travis’ type was, around the release of Catching Kelce, AfterBuzz TV host Kristina Zias played a game of “Kiss, Marry, Kill” with the athlete, giving him the choices of Taylor and fellow singers Ariana Grande and Katy Perry.
“That’s messed up!” Travis joked, before responding: “I’d kill Ariana, unfortunately. I love you but you’re gone. And then Taylor Swift would be the kiss, and Katy Perry would be marry.”
May 2022: Travis splits up from Kayla Nicole
In 2017, Travis started dating influencer and on-air sports journalist Kayla Nicole. The pair were in an on-off relationship for five years, before finally parting ways in May 2022.
In January of this year, he shut down speculation in the press that the break-up came after Kayla complained that Travis was too tight with his money.
June 2023: Taylor Swift and Matty Healy split
While neither Taylor nor Matty ever actually confirmed they were dating, it’s thought their romance was a brief one, with reports claiming they called it quits after only a month.
A few weeks later, in July, an unnamed source “close to” Taylor Swift told the Daily Mail the Grammy winner was “enjoying being single and has been spending time in the studio and hanging out with friends in New York” while on a break from her Eras tour.
26 July 2023: Travis makes a move
On an episode of his American football podcast, New Heights (which he co-hosts with his brother Jason), Travis revealed that he had attended Taylor’s ongoing Eras tour when it stopped in Kansas City.
“I was disappointed that she doesn’t talk before or after her shows because she has to save her voice for the 44 songs that she sings,” he revealed.
“So I was a little butthurt, I didn’t get to hand [over] one of the bracelets I’ve made her… I wanted to give Taylor Swift one with my number on it.”
When Jason questioned whether he meant the number on the back of his Kansas City Chiefs shirt — number 87 – or his phone number, Travis laughed: “You know which one.”
12 September 2023: Rumours surface that Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce have been ‘quietly hanging out’
The Messenger reported two months after Travis’ initial comments about Taylor that the two had been “quietly hanging out” for a number of weeks.
Citing an unnamed source, the outlet claimed that the two met up when Taylor was in New York for the VMAs, where she happened to be the night’s top winner.
15 September 2023: Travis’ brother Jason has his say
After the rumours about Travis and Taylor first started circulating, Travis’ brother Jason was grilled about them on NFL on Prime.
Football analyst Tony Gonzalez began: “I have a 15-year-old daughter, and she’s a big fan of a certain pop star. And you have a family member — a brother. I’ve been hearing rumours… there’s maybe some stuff. Can you comment?”
Jason replied: “Ever since Catching Kelce, everybody has been infatuated with Travis’ love life. I don’t really know what’s going on. I know Travis is having fun and we’ll see what happens with whoever he ends up with.”
— NFL on Prime Video (@NFLonPrime) September 15, 2023
Around that time, Jason also appeared on 94 WIP Sportsradio, and commented on his brother’s love life again.
“I don’t really know a lot about what’s happening in his love life. His business is his business,” Jason insisted, before joking: “Having said that, I think he’s doing great and it’s all 100% true.”
18 September 2023: Travis laughs off NFL commentator’s Taylor Swift digs
As the rumours gathered steam, NFL Network’s Rich Eisen managed to slip in a slew of Taylor Swift references while speaking ahead of the Kansas City Chiefs’ game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“You saw it on Thursday night when Travis Kelce wasn’t in there, it left a blank space,” Rich said. “But I think he returns today and proves to be the anti-hero.”
Travis acknowledged the puns, and left a comment on Instagram saying: “Well played Rich… Well played”.
22 September 2023: Travis addresses rumours for the first time
We GOTTA ask about you and Taylor Swift..
"I told her that I've seen her rock a stage in Arrowhead and she might have to come see me rock the stage at Arrowhead..
We'll see what happens in the near future"
— Pat McAfee (@PatMcAfeeShow) September 21, 2023
While appearing on the Pat McAfee Show, the NFL star recalled his previous attempt to shoot his shot with the singer, amid reports that the two have been “hanging out”.
“I told her, ‘I’ve seen you rock the stage in Arrowhead; you might have to come see me rock a stage at Arrowhead and we can see which one’s a little more lit,’” the Super Bowl champion claimed, referring to his team’s home stadium.
Describing the hearsay as a “game of telephone”, he then added: “No one actually knows what’s going on, especially when you’ve got Jason Kelce on live television telling people both sides.”
24 September 2023: Travis and Taylor are seen together for the first time
Days after Travis broke his silence on the rumours, Taylor was spotted watching the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium, and cheering Travis on as he scored a touchdown.
She was also seen chatting to the NFL star’s mother while watching the game from an executive suit.
As if all that wasn’t exciting enough for Swifties, after the game, she and Travis were spotted together for the first time, when they were seen leaving the stadium together. And as you can imagine, fans had plenty to say about it.
— Jarrett Payton (@paytonsun) September 25, 2023