Travis Kelce Ex Kayla Nicole Responds to Hate From Taylor Swift Fans

Kayla Nicole, who dated Kelce for five years, has addressed the “backlash and embarrassment” amid her ex’s new relationship with Taylor Swift.

Kyndall Cunningham

A photo of Kayla Nicole and a podcast microphone

Photo Illustration by The Daily Beast / Instagram

Kayla Nicole, a model and onetime girlfriend of NFL star Travis Kelce, has shared an open letter to Black women amid her ex’s highly publicized romance with Taylor Swift.

In an Instagram video on Monday, the 31-year-old addressed the negative attention she’s received on social media and the renewed dialogue around her five-year relationship with Kelce. Nicole dated the Kansas City Chiefs tight end from 2017 to 2022.

“Dear Black girl,” she began. “They may call you a traitor for falling in love. You’ll hope the ones closest will protect you. But you will quickly find out that people don’t protect what they don’t value.”

The influencer continued, “They’ll say you’re too much … and in the same breath, tell you you’re not enough, not successful enough, not wholesome enough, maybe not even intelligent enough. They’ll say you deserve the backlash and embarrassment. Because of your Blackness, you should’ve known better. They’ll even try to tie your value to your net worth. But Black girl, please remember your value lies elsewhere.”

The fanfare surrounding Kelce’s rumored relationship with Swift has resulted in a slew of articles written about Nicole, as well as backlash from both football fans and Swift’s own fanbase. Nicole became the subject of even more headlines after she apparently unfollowed Kelce’s teammate Patrick Mahomes and his wife, Brittany Mahomes, on Instagram. Many folks online assumed Nicole and the Mahomes were now beefing, especially after outlets reported that Brittany and Swift have struck up a friendship over the past few weeks.

Conversations around Kelce and Nicole’s relationship, as a public-facing interracial couple, have always been particularly fraught. Following the news of Kelce and Swift’s apparent dalliance, some Twitter users criticized the athlete, whose public persona has partially relied on an adjacency to Black culture, for “ditching” Nicole for a white woman (even though he and Nicole split in May 2022). Others, including some Swifties, have disparaged Nicole in comparison to Swift, framing the pop star as an “upgrade” for Kelce.

From the onset of her public relationship with Kelce, Nicole was scrutinized for dating outside of her race, which she presumably alludes to in her open letter with the “traitor” remark. Likewise, her video has been met with mockery and accusations of jealousy from many social media users. Meanwhile, others have praised Nicole for seemingly addressing the hate head-on.

Regardless, it seems like the model isn’t interested in engaging in the drama any further, telling her followers, “Preserve your heart even when they try to quantify your character and test your boundaries. […] You do not have to respond because there is power in your silence.”

Kyndall Cunningham

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