Travis Kelce thinks people who believe he created the fade are absolutely ridiculous.
He wants nothing to do with what The New York Times recently asserted, especially with it coming on the very first day of Black History Month. Silly rabbits, Kelce didn't invent that hairstyle.
"It's absolutely ridiculous," he said on Tuesday during Super Bowl LVIII media availability. "And to do it on February 1 — to throw me to the wolves like that — that was messed up, man. I don't want anything to do with that one."
Kelce is right. That was messed up because even a little more research would've helped the NYT realize that the hairstyle he sports was actually popularized a very long time ago in Black culture. And to assign it to him to kick off a month dedicated to the celebration of Black history and its many contributions, well, that's just not right.
As a result, the Times came under fire from all sides, including Hall of Fame tight end and TV personality Shannon Sharpe.
“The New York Times began Black History Month by referring to the fade as the Travis Kelce,” Sharpe said on his “Nightcap” podcast with co-host and NFL receiver Chad Ochocinco. “New York Times, so that’s how you start Black History Month?”
Former ESPN reporter Jemele Hill also lambasted the feature for whitewashing the style in its reporting.
"The NYT thinks that Travis Kelce invented the fade," Hill said on X, formerly Twitter. "When you have zero cultural competency on your staff, this is how you end up with stories like this, and explaining swag surfin,’ which is at least 15 or [sic] years old."
We're already in the middle of dealing with the Chiefs being given credit for "Swag Surfin'" — they did not. But seeing as no group has ever won a battle fighting a two-front war, the focus of this article will remain on Kelce unnecessarily finding himself in the middle of a fire he didn't create.
When he was broached about the controversy, Kelce made it abundantly clear, he doesn't deserve credit for this hairstyle.
"I got a good fade if you need it though," Kelce said with a chuckle. "But I didn't invent that, I just asked for it."
— Vegas Sports Today (@VegasSportsTD) February 6, 2024
Look, no one is trying to gatekeep the fade — it's a nice hairstyle. And if folks want to join in for a "Swag Surf," then by all means.
But please, just do a little more research. Dig a little deeper and give credit where it's rightfully due.
And if anyone needs help understanding how that's done, look no further than how Kelce expertly and easily navigated this situation.