Fact Check

Travis Kelce Once Knelt for the Anthem, Appeared in Bud Light and Pfizer Ads?

These claims about the Kansas City Chiefs tight-end appeared on X (formerly Twitter) after news spread that he was dating Taylor Swift.

Published Sep 27, 2023

Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs smiles while being interviewed after the Chiefs defeated the Las Vegas Raiders 30-29 to win the game at Arrowhead Stadium on Oct. 10, 2022 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jason Hanna/Getty Images) (Jason Hanna/Getty Images)
Image Via Jason Hanna/Getty Images
Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce once knelt during the U.S. national anthem and later appeared in ads for Bud Light and Pfizer.

On Sept. 26, 2023, a user on X (formerly Twitter), Brigitte Gabriel, posted about Taylor Swift and Kansas City Chiefs tight-end Travis Kelce.

Gabriel is the founder of ACT for America, an organization that was designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as being "anti-Muslim" and a "hate group."

As for Swift and Kelce, the pair were rumored to be dating after the Grammy-winning recording artist attended a Chiefs game on Sept. 24 and then was later pictured leaving Arrowhead Stadium with the NFL star.

Gabriel's post began by referring to Swift as "anti-American," though no evidence was provided.

The post also said of Kelce that he once chose to kneel on a football field during the U.S. national anthem, and that he had participated in advertising for both Bud Light and Pfizer.

These three claims about Kelce were all true.

Kneeling During National Anthem

On Sept. 24, 2017, The Kansas City Star reported that Kelce had taken a knee during the national anthem just before kickoff for an away game with the Los Angeles Chargers.

BlackSportsOnline.com reported that Kelce had knelt in support of teammates who wanted to protest racial injustice and police brutality:

Bud Light Ad

On July 2, 2023, the official Bud Light YouTube channel posted a new ad that featured Kelce. It was titled, "Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce."

The new commercial was released just weeks following a controversy that outraged some American conservative voters, according to CBSNews.com. That controversy stemmed from the fact that Bud Light had established a paid partnership with transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. The partnership led to the beer company facing both significant backlash and a dip in sales.

Pfizer Vaccine Commercial

On Sept. 22, just two days before Swift showed up at the Chiefs game to sit next to Kelce's mom, Donna Kelce, the Chiefs tight-end posted to his Instagram page a new commercial that he had shot for Pfizer in promotion of both COVID-19 and influenza vaccines.

This story will be updated if we uncover any further details about this topic.


"ACT for America." Southern Poverty Law Center, https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/extremist-files/group/act-america.

"Backyard Grunts with Travis Kelce | Bud Light." YouTube, Bud Light, July 2, 2023, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HThEOBdJ-fU.

Barron, Tory. "Meet Me at Arrowhead: Travis Kelce-Taylor Swift Rumored Romance Timeline." ESPN.com, Sept. 26, 2023, https://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/38490352/kansas-city-chiefs-travis-kelce-taylor-swift-rumored-dating-line.

Castillo, Gabriel, et al. "Viral Video Captures Travis Kelce, Taylor Swift Leaving Kansas City Stadium Together." Fox 59, Sept. 25, 2023, https://fox59.com/news/national-world/viral-video-captures-travis-kelce-taylor-swift-leaving-kansas-city-stadium-together/.

Grathoff, Pete, et al. "Here Is What Chiefs Players Did during the National Anthem." The Kansas City Star, Sept. 24, 2017, https://www.kansascity.com/sports/nfl/kansas-city-chiefs/article175158731.html.

@killatrav. "#PfizerPartner With My Schedule, Saving Time Is Key. The CDC Says You Can Get This Season's Updated COVID-19 Shot When You Get Your Flu Shot If You're Due for Both. That's Why I Got Two Shots in One Stop! Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist If It Would Be Right for You. You Can Also Visit CDC's Vaccines.gov to Learn More and Schedule an Appointment." Instagram, Sept. 22, 2023, https://www.instagram.com/p/CxgXyUHxv4H/.

Littal, Robert. "Travis Kelce Kneeled With His Chiefs Teammates Against Racial Injustice & Police Brutality." BlackSportsOnline.com, Sept. 24, 2017, https://blacksportsonline.com/2017/09/travis-kelce-kneeled-with-his-chiefs-teammates-against-racial-injustice-police-brutality/.

Picchi, Aimee. "After Dylan Mulvaney Controversy, Bud Light Releases 'Grunts' Ad with Kansas City Chiefs' Travis Kelce - CBS News." CBSNews.com, July 4, 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/news/bud-light-dylan-mulvaney-travis-kelce-grunts-ad/.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.