The Taylor Swift Super Bowl Conspiracy, Explained

Gamed: Right-wing influencers believe that Travis Kelce—and by extension Taylor Swift—reached the … [+] Super Bowl because it was rigged.

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At some point, Taylor Swift transcended into one of those celebrities who isn’t just famous, but scarily famous; she’s not a brand, she’s an industry.

Swift’s extraordinary level of fame, success and influence has provoked the suspicions of reactionary influencers and conspiracy theorists. In conspiratorial online spaces, nothing ever just happens — big things are planned, and Swift’s boyfriend is going to the Super Bowl.

What Is The Taylor Swift Super Bowl Conspiracy Theory?

Swift is currently dating football star Travis Kelce, the Kansas City Chiefs tight end, inspiring her fans to take a keen interest in the NFL. Swift attending her boyfriend’s games invoked the wrath of conservative commentators who believe that Swift’s media buzz is distracting from the sport.

More recently, it has lead some to believe that her presence is part of a convoluted political plot.

Swift has been frequently and heavily criticized by conservative commentators ever since the singer spoke up in support of abortion-rights and accused former President Donald Trump of “stoking the fires of white supremacy and racism” on X (Twitter).

Last year, Sean Davis, CEO and co-founder of conservative web magazine The Federalist, wrote “Taylor Swift is dumb and her music sucks” on an X post that linked to an article titled “Taylor Swift’s Popularity Is A Sign Of Societal Decline.”

Political commentator Tomi Lahren gave Swift a backhanded compliment on her podcast, stating: “Her lefty, liberal braindead political opinions aside, I am a fan of Taylor Swift and I have been since way before she went full liberal.”

Kelce previously sparked right-wing backlash after participating in an ad for Pfizer vaccines; conservative pundit Charlie Kirk said Kelce should be “shamed and humiliated,” while conservative influencers the Hodgetwins tweeted that the NFL star had “sold his soul to Pfizer.”

Conspiracy theorists were emboldened when Fox News released a segment baselessly asserting that Taylor Swift is a Pentagon “psy-op” used for political messaging. Not long after, the Kansas City Chiefs secured their place in the Super Bowl following Sunday’s AFC victory, meaning Kelce’s game will likely be attended by Swift.

Hence, right-wing influencers came to the conclusion that Swift’s presence at the Super Bowl is by design, with the intent to secure the election for Joe Biden through Swift’s high-profile endorsement at the winning game.

The X account “EndWokeness” posted a picture of Swift on several magazine covers and wrote: “What’s happening with Taylor Swift is not organic and natural. It’s an op. We all feel it. We all know it.”

Conservative influencer Benny Johnson used the same picture to emphasize the same point, in a reply to his own post asserting that the NFL was rigged. Johnson wrote:

“Taylor Swift is an op. It’s all fake. You’re being played.”

Former “anti-woke” presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy tweeted a more complete version of the theory, prompting affirmations from other conservative commentators.

Laura Loomer wrote that “the Democrats’ Taylor Swift election interference psyop is happening in the open… They are going to use Taylor Swift as the poster child for their pro-abortion GOTV Campaign.”

Far-right conspiracy theorist Rogan O’Handley had the most dramatic take — O’Handley wrote a post to the San Francisco 49ers, begging them to beat the Kansas City Chiefs to prevent the death of “millions” and secure “the fate of the free world.”

Why Do Conservative Influencers Believe The Taylor Swift Conspiracy?

From an outsider’s perspective, Swift’s explosive rise to superstar might seem rather baffling — in some sense, Swift resembles MrBeast, a celebrity who has catapulted themselves to an unprecedented level of fame and influence through their carefully cultivated image, but doesn’t seem particularly charismatic to those outside the fandom.

At Swift’s level of fame, the attention snowballs, with the media increasing coverage of Swift as she grows more popular, and fans obsessing over her every move.

Not everyone will get Swift’s appeal, but the cumulative effect of her fame isn’t hard to understand — it’s just the market at work.

Really, the conspiracy theory seems to have been forged in fear; it’s an acknowledgment that Taylor Swift’s voice holds power, possibly enough to sway the needle.

Last year, an Instagram post from Swift encouraging her fans to vote sparked results — NPR reported a whopping 1,226% increase in voter registrations the hour after she posted.

The funny thing is, Swift is not a particularly outspoken celebrity when it comes to politics.

“Part of the fabric of being a country artist is don’t force your politics on people,” Swift explained in the 2020 documentary Miss Americana. “Let people live their lives. That is grilled into us.”

Years ago, Swift was very careful to keep her political opinions to herself (in fact, conservatives once believed she was secretly a Trump supporter). Like the majority of young women, Swift leans liberal.

In 2018, Swift was more politically outspoken, urging her fans to vote against Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), who was running for Senate at the time. On Instagram, Swift cited Blackburn’s voting record as evidence that spoke for itself:

“[Blackburn] voted against equal pay for women,” Swift wrote. “She voted against the Reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which attempts to protect women from domestic violence, stalking, and date rape. She believes businesses have a right to refuse service to gay couples. She also believes they should not have the right to marry. These are not MY Tennessee values.”

Blackburn won that election, despite Swift speaking out against her. But Swift’s instinctual rejection of conservative culture war issues aligns with the views of her fans; Gen Z’s support of abortion rights and LGBTQ rights is well-documented.

Other than speaking out for abortion rights and calling on her fans to vote, Swift has not been politically active in the last couple of years.

Swift did endorse President Joe Biden in 2020, and according to the NYTimes, the Biden campaign is actively courting Swift’s endorsement again, and they’re open to suggestions — one idea was even to have President Biden make an appearance on Swift’s Eras Tour (hopefully, he won’t refer to Taylor as “Britney” again).

Rigging the Super Bowl, however, seems like a tremendous amount of effort to win that endorsement. The theory is especially absurd when one considers that the Taylor Swift conspiracy is mainly touted by influencers who believe the last election was rigged (if President Biden holds the power that conspiracy theorists believe he does, one wonders why they bother to vote at all).

Swift might not endorse President Biden this time around — she might not even have time to make the Super Bowl. But for conservative influencers, Swift’s mere presence at the stadium seems threatening.

Perhaps she reminds them that their culture war is a losing battle.

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