Kelce reportedly "kicked" the Ravens player's ball and "threw his helmet" during pregame warmups
Ravens kicker Justin Tucker spoke to reporters about the pregame incident with Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes
Before kickoff on Sunday, Kelce reportedly "kicked" Tucker's ball away
Tucker said he's "never had a problem with anybody" over his 12 years in the NFL
Just before kickoff on Sunday, the teams went through their warmup routines, and a clip of Mahomes, 28, and Kelce and Tucker, both 34, quickly went viral after NFL Network correspondent James Palmer reported that Kelce "told" Tucker that he "needed to move" so that Mahomes could warm up.
According to Palmer, Tucker didn't move, "so Kelce kicked his ball away and threw his helmet."
Speaking to reporters on Monday, Tucker addressed the ordeal. “The way it works is each team’s kicker goes to the other team’s designated warmup area on the field," he explained in a video shared by Baltimore Banner Sports on Instagram.
The Ravens kicker said he's "been doing the exact same thing for 12 years," and has "never had a problem with anybody" over his decade-plus in the NFL.
Then, Tucker shared his recount of the pregame tension. "I saw Patrick there trying to warm up and get some dropbacks. He asked me while I was on the ground stretching if I could move my helmet," he recalled.
Tucker said he "happily got up and moved my helmet out of the way." He added, "At least, I thought it was enough out of the way."
He continued, "And then Travis comes over, and he just kicks my stuff, he throws my helmet. I thought it was all just some gamesmanship, all in good fun. But they seemed to be taking it a little more seriously."
After Palmer's video went viral on Sunday, several users on X (formerly known as Twitter) were quick to defend Mahomes and Kelce. Sports writer Al Scott replied to Palmer's post, writing, "There’s absolutely zero reason Tucker needed to do his stretches right there. I’m not sure why people are acting like he’s a victim."
Another user wrote, "I mean yeah if my quarterback is right there you’re gonna have to move. You’re not gonna sit directly in front of him and stretch. Nah. This is mind games both ways. Tucker knows what he’s doing."
A handful of posts defended Tucker as the game is being played at the Ravens' stadium. "It’s his home field he can do whatever he wants," one fan wrote.
Ultimately, the Chiefs got what they came for at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. Kansas City defeated the Ravens 17-10 and secured their spot in the 2024 Super Bowl.
The Chiefs will take on the San Francisco 49ers when Super Bowl LVIII kicks off in Las Vegas on Feb. 11.
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