Fact Check

Did Kansas City Chiefs Refuse To Kneel During Anthem, Following Travis Kelce's Lead?

"Bless your hearts," one Facebook user commented.

Published Nov. 13, 2023

 (Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images)
Image Via Ralf Ibing - firo sportphoto/Getty Images
In October 2023, the Kansas City Chiefs unanimously refused to kneel during the national anthem, following the lead of tight end Travis Kelce.

On Oct. 18, 2023, SpaceXMania published an article claiming that the Kansas City Chiefs unanimously refused to kneel during the national anthem in October 2023, following the lead of tight end Travis Kelce. The article was published amid growing speculation about a romantic relationship between Kelce and singer Taylor Swift, who had attended several of his games during the 2023 NFL season.

The article claimed:

Breaking: Following Travis Kelce’s Lead, Chiefs Unanimously Refuse To Kneel During Anthem

In the roaring world of professional football, where the spotlight usually shines on touchdowns, tactics, and towering athletes, there’s a new narrative taking center stage. The act of kneeling during the National Anthem has transcended from a personal statement to a team-wide declaration.

It has often been debated if a silent protest during a pre-game ritual could send shockwaves throughout the league and captivate millions. The answer became resoundingly clear during the recent game involving the Kansas City Chiefs, specifically thanks to tight end Travis Kelce.

Weeks later, in November 2023, the story was shared by SpaceXMania's Facebook account, SpaceX Lovers. Comments under that post indicated people seemed to believe the story was real. "Bless your hearts," one Facebook user commented.

However, the article from SpaceXMania was not a factual recounting of real-life events. The article featured a "Satire" label above its headline. SpaceXMania describes its output as being humorous or satirical in nature, as follows:

Please note that the article under the category "SATIRE" are satirical in nature and are not meant to be taken seriously. These articles are meant to be humorous and are often entirely made up. We make no claim that the information presented in these articles is true or accurate.

We've fact-checked other satirical articles SpaceXMania has published about the NFL during the 2023 season, including one article that claimed Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin had said during a September 2023 news conference that he thought players who kneeled during the national anthem were showing a "hatred for America."

For background, here is why we sometimes write about satire/humor.


Disclaimer - SpaceXMania. 3 Jan. 2021, https://spacexmania.com/disclaimer/.

Izzo, Jack. “Did Mike Tomlin Say Anthem-Kneelers ‘Hate America’?” Snopes, 3 Nov. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/tomlin-kneelers-hate-america/.

Mikkelson, David. “Why We Include Humor and Satire in Snopes.Com.” Snopes, 15 Aug. 2019, https://www.snopes.com/notes/why-we-include-humor-and-satire-in-snopes-com/.

PerryCook, Taija. “Did Taylor Swift Say She’s ‘In Love’ With Travis Kelce, as Videos Claim?” Snopes, 9 Nov. 2023, https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/taylor-travis-relationship/.

Izz Scott LaMagdeleine is a fact-checker for Snopes.