ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith Defends Taylor Swift Amid Criticism Over Her Presence at NFL Games

At least someone in the sports world understands that Taylor Swift is doing things much greater than dating the boy on the football team.

ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith recently told off the Dads, Brads, and Chads who have been hate, hate, hating on the singer for the camera attention she gets from the NFL while attending Kansas City Chiefs games to support her boyfriend Travis Kelce.

“I have to take a moment to come to the defense of Taylor Swift,” he said on the Jan. 10 episode of ESPN’s First Take. “Everybody is sitting up there and acting like she’s some kind of impediment. She did her job. That Eras Tour? Off the chain—generated billions.”

The sports journalist—whose comments come just days after Jo Koy’s now infamous joke about Taylor’s NFL game attendance fell flat at the Golden Globes—even revealed that he attended a “phenomenal” night of the nominee’s latest tour himself.

“I see these kids, they absolutely love her,” he continued. “She did her job. She’s going to support her dude to show up at a football game and the camera is on her—that ain’t her fault.”

Smith added that the “Karma” singer’s appearances at nine games so far this season have not positively affected her own career when it comes to ticket sales.

“She went to the games after the concerts,” he declared (the initial United States leg of the Eras Tour ended last August, but the phenomenon will return in October). “It’s not like she used the games to bump up the concerts. Oh no. Those kids were going to her concerts whether the NFL was promoting her or not.”

And while Smith received some flack from his fellow First Take hosts for trying to get free tickets from the “Bejeweled” singer, he doubled down.

“Taylor Swift is that girl,” he finished. “Let’s show some respect. She’s probably going to have a positive impact on Travis Kelce’s performance.”

The stats haven’t lied so far on that take, but the “Anti-Hero” singer appears to be enjoying her newfound hobby of being cheer captain—from the bleachers—even when her man loses.

“Football is awesome, it turns out,” the 12-time Grammy winner told TIME in an article published last month. “I’ve been missing out my whole life.”

Read on for some of Taylor’s best NFL moments and looks.