Celebrities and Sports: Fumble or Touchdown?

What do sports and music have in common? These days, absolutely everything. The worlds of professional athletes and A-list stars have been colliding for years now. Whether it’s romance, friendships, or simply being a fan, music artists and sports have never been closer.

As excited as some are to see their favorite football player and music star canoodling after a victory, others don’t feel all that warm and fuzzy. In fact, many sports fans feel that it’s taking away from the enjoyment of the actual game. Both sides are valid in their own right. It’s something all of us will have to get used to because it’s certainly not going away anytime soon.

So who are these athletes and superstars? Here are some of the faces in the entertainment world that have shown a great interest in sports.

She’s a 14-time Grammy winner, the biggest pop icon generations will ever know, and also happens to be dating a professional football player. Taylor Swift began dating Travis Kelce, tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, publicly when she showed up to his game in September 2023. What began with Kelce making friendship bracelets to give to Swift turned into leaving in their getaway car after a Chiefs game.

The constant media coverage of Swift at Kelce’s games has been the discussion in every news outlet. For the music fans, seeing Swift watch a sport made them want to tune in to see what the fuss was about. For those who are strictly hardcore football fans, well, let’s just say they were less than thrilled about Swift’s coverage. Is a 25-second clip of Taylor Swift cheering on her boyfriend really that detrimental to sports fans’ enjoyment of the game?

NFL fans have claimed T-Swift is “ruining football.” In actuality, Swift made viewing and ticket sales increase for the NFL, all for the chance to get a glimpse of the pop star. Talk about fantastic public relations work at its finest! You have to admit that the way it’s positively impacted the world of football is a plus. In the words of Swift, “I’m just there to support Travis. I have no awareness of if I’m being shown too much and pissing off a few dads, Brads, and Chads.”

It’s not just Taylor Swift who is connected to football. Alix Earle, a social media influencer and New Jersey native, is dating Braxton Berrios, the wide receiver from the Miami Dolphins. Earle is most known for her “Get Ready with Me” videos and her podcast “Hot Mess.” The couple went public in 2023, and we’ve seen them all over together. While their relationship “hard launch” had people questioning when it started, since he was in a relationship with Sophia Culpo, sports fans seem to be accepting of Earle. They haven’t gotten nearly as much backlash as Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce despite both women’s ability to bring a larger female audience into sports.

Other notable football celebrity fans: Paul Rudd, an actor in movies such as “Ant-Man” and “Clueless,” is an avid Kansas City Chiefs fan. Simone Biles, a gold medal Olympic Gymnast, is married to Jonathan Owens, a safety on the Green Bay Packers. Hailee Steinfeld, singer and actress, is dating Josh Allen, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills.

Now, moving on to the world of ice hockey. Lately, the NHL has been crawling with superstar’ faces. In my opinion, it’s one of the best sports to see live, so there’s no shocker that celebrities from all over go to support their favorite teams.

Justin and Hailey Bieber have been spotted at multiple games for the Toronto Maple Leafs. Justin Bieber is known friends with star forward on the team Auston Matthews. Bieber was also named “All-Star Captain” for the NHL All-Star Event in February 2024. He created special jerseys—or “sweaters,” as hockey fans call them—for the players to wear. Bieber also did a special surprise concert for fans at the game. He performed “Baby,” “Peaches,” and “Snooze” by SZA in an acoustic set.

Hockey fans, unlike football fans, have embraced seeing celebrities at games and being involved with the league. They have especially embraced singer, Tate McRae. McRae just released her sophomore album “Think Later” in December 2023. Her lead single on the album “Greedy” initially caught the NHL’s attention because the music video takes place in a hockey rink. McRae went from singing on a Zamboni in her music video to performing in the second intermission of the NHL All-Star Game.

Previously, McRae had been romantically involved with NHL player Cole Sillinger from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Rumors of their breakup sparked much controversy among fans. Since their breakup and the release of her new “hockey-esque” album, fans are confidently Team McRae. Come on, being invited to perform at your ex-boyfriend’s place of work in front of his friends and co-workers is the best revenge I’ve ever seen. Especially when she nailed the performance.

Regardless of the status of the celebrity or sports organization, both thrive when they can benefit from one another. The entertainment industry will profit more and create a buzz when they can bleed into other industries. The most beloved things in our culture are our music, movies, and sports. Why not combine them? So long as the leagues and organizations are rolling in dough, prepare for more celeb sightings. Get ready, fans, we’re headed into celebrity overtime.