Travis Kelce is facing criticism after shoving his Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid during a furious exchange during Super Bowl LVIII.
Kelce, the star tight end, would end his night in Las Vegas with another Super Bowl title as he celebrated with girlfriend Taylor Swift after the Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers 25-22 in overtime.
Kelce made several key plays to help the Chiefs come back late, providing a reliable target for quarterback Patrick Mahomes to win a third Super Bowl in five seasons.
But when the 49ers led at halftime, it looked like Kelce’s night would be defined by his argument with Reid as the tight end exploded at the Chiefs coach late in the second quarter.
The Chiefs were down 3-0 when the team lost the ball near the 49ers’ end zone, and Kelce was furious with Reid after the coach chose to take him out of the game.
Kelce rushed towards Reid and burst into the 65-year-old coach while yelling in his face. Reid was briefly off-balance and turned away from Kelce as his player continued to yell in anger.
Kelce had to be pulled away by a teammate and he was led to the side to cool off, where the 34-year-old slammed his helmet against a bench in anger. After halftime, Kelce was one of the players of the game and finished with 93 receiving yards, but when the incident occurred, he had been held to just one yard by the 49ers defense.
Kelce, who shared an on-field kiss with Swift during the Chiefs’ celebrations, later downplayed the incident.
Travis Kelce confronts Chiefs coach Andy Reid on the sidelines
“Man, I was excited — I was excited because we weren’t hitting full blast,” he told ESPN.
“I had to give ‘Big Red’ a love pat and let him know that we were all here fighting for him no matter what. I just had to tell him I loved him real quick.
“I trust him so much and the way he goes about it as a head coach, as a leader – he’s one of the best leaders in the game.
“I can’t thank him enough for giving me opportunities year after year. This third, this second blow after blow, this one is for him, without a doubt.
Speaking to reporters, Kelce added: “I have the best coach this game has ever seen.
“He helped me a lot in channeling that emotion, channeling that passion and I owe my whole career to that guy and being able to control my emotion. I just love him.”
Reid also downplayed the incident and appeared to take the situation lightly. The veteran NFL coach joked on CBS: “He keeps me young. » He tested that hip. He threw me off balance. Normally I’d give him some, but you know what, I had no feet under me.”
Kelce confirmed in his post-match speech at the trophy presentation that he will return to Chiefs next season to aim for a historic ‘treble’.
However, some NFL fans were unimpressed with Kelce’s behavior towards Reid and criticized the 34-year-old for being disrespectful to the veteran coach. Kelce’s actions were called “unacceptable” and “unconscionable” in fan comments online.
Kelce’s relationship with Swift had dominated much of the build-up to Super Bowl LVIII and the music icon was on-screen throughout as she watched the game in Las Vegas.
Already one of the NFL’s biggest stars, Kelce’s fame has exploded since he started dating Swift late last year and their relationship has brought a new wave of attention to the game.
This isn’t the first time Kelce has been involved in a moment of controversy while in the league, however. Kelce has racked up thousands of dollars in fines following incidents of “unsportsmanlike conduct” during his career, including when he lost his temper with a referee following a close call during a match in 2016.
Kelce has also been disciplined for taunting opposing players, and in 2014 he was accused of making an “immature” hand gesture toward a referee during a game against the Denver Broncos.