Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker is making it clear where he stands with Travis Kelce after their tense pregame interaction went viral.
Tucker, 34, was warming up before the Sunday, January 28, AFC Championship game when Kelce, 34, threw his helmet off the field to make way for his teammate Patrick Mahomes.
“I saw Patrick there trying to warm up and get some dropbacks, so he asked me while I was on the ground if I could move my helmet,” Tucker explained to reporters in a video shared via X on Monday, January 29. “So, I happily got up and I moved my helmet out of the way, at least I thought it was enough out of the way. And then, Travis comes over and he just kicks my stuff and he throws my helmet, and I thought it was all just some gamesmanship, all in good fun, but they seemed to be taking it a little bit more seriously.”
Tucker said he’s “willing to let it all go,” clarifying that he’s been warming up the same way ever since he joined the NFL in 2012. “It’s not like I’m out there trying to be problematic. I’m just trying to get ready for the football game just like they are,” he stated.
The athlete explained that “each team’s kicker goes to the other team’s designated warm-up area on the field,” adding that he’s “never really had a problem with anybody” before his incident with Kelce and Mahomes, 28. “That’s just kind of the way that we’ve always done it and the way that kickers around the league have always done it,” he added.
In ESPN’s TikTok clip of the pregame interaction, Tucker appeared to say something indiscernible to Kelce before readjusting his gear. Tucker didn’t elaborate on what was said.
Travis Kelce told Justin Tucker he needed to move because their QB Patrick Mahomes had to warm up. So Kelce kicked his ball away and threw his helmet. 😂 pic.twitter.com/pFF0DC1yA7
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) January 28, 2024
The pregame run-in received mixed reactions from fans online. “Why did he have his stuff right on the goal-line? If he’s truly warming up wouldn’t he be further out on the 15 so he’s at least practicing extra points?” one fan wrote via X on Tuesday, January 30. “I think Tucker is a good dude but I don’t buy [that] he was just innocently stretching right in the middle of them.”
Another X user, meanwhile, called Tucker “one of the classiest people” and praised him for his “great explanation” of his warm-up rituals. A third fan wasn’t interested in the drama, writing, “I don’t think it’s that deep for either side … I get both sides of it and well it’s over now and that’s that 😂.”
Kelce and the Kansas City Chiefs ultimately emerged from the game victorious on Sunday, defeating the Ravens 17-10. They will play against the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LVII on February 11.
After his team’s big win, Travis was spotted celebrating on the field with his parents, Donna and Ed Kelce, along with his brother, Jason Kelce, and his girlfriend, Taylor Swift. The couple, who have been dating since summer 2023, shared a sweet kiss on camera.
The Grammy winner, 34, watched proudly as Travis accepted the AFC Championship trophy on stage. “You gotta fight for your right to party!” Travis exclaimed, quoting lyrics from the Beastie Boys’ hit “Fight For Your Right.” He added: “Believe it, baby! We’re going to Las Vegas, Nevada! Gonna get us another one!” (The Chiefs previously beat the Philadelphia Eagles and the 49ers at the 2023 and 2020 Super Bowls, respectively.)