/Travis Kelce’s Ex Addresses ‘Backlash’ Amid His Rumored Romance With Taylor Swift

Travis Kelce’s Ex Addresses ‘Backlash’ Amid His Rumored Romance With Taylor Swift

Kayla Nicole is speaking out against the “backlash and embarrassment” she says she’s recently experienced as speculation over her ex-boyfriend Travis Kelce’s rumored new relationship intensifies.

Nicole, a Los Angeles-based sports journalist and fitness entrepreneur, shared a short, heartfelt video on Instagram Tuesday in which she read an “open letter” addressed to “Black women, specifically.”

“Dear Black girl, they may call you a traitor for falling in love,” Nicole, who is Black, says in the clip. “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. They’ll say you’re too much ― too provocative, too boisterous, too outspoken ― and in the same breath, tell you that you’re not enough.”

“They’ll say you deserve the backlash and embarrassment,” she says. “Because of your Blackness, you should have known better. They’ll even try to tie your value to your net worth. But Black girl, please remember your value lies elsewhere. Your value is deep within your heart.”

Nicole and Kelce, a tight end for the Kansas City Chiefs, were introduced over social media in 2017 and dated on and off for about five years. Reports of the timeline vary, but they appeared to have ended their relationship for good last year.

Travis Kelce and Kayla Nicole dated on and off from 2017 to 2022.
Travis Kelce and Kayla Nicole dated on and off from 2017 to 2022.

For the past several months, Kelce has been at the epicenter of a media frenzy as the heavily rumored boyfriend of the world’s biggest pop star, Taylor Swift.

Neither Kelce nor Swift have publicly addressed the rumors, but Swift’s appearance at a pair of Kansas City Chiefs games, and her seemingly chummy relationship with Kelce’s mother, Donna, have stoked the flames of speculation.

Nicole doesn’t mention Kelce or Swift by name in her Instagram video. As several outlets have pointed out, however, she’s been inundated with criticism and abusive commentary ― much of it directed at her race and gender ― as her ex’s public profile has skyrocketed.

Maya Benberry, who also dated Kelce, claimed last month that she’d started receiving death threats from legions of Swift fans after alleging that Kelce was unfaithful during their time together.

Nicole, for her part, seems eager to remove herself from the “Traylor” discourse moving forward, though her remarks have garnered a mixed response online.

“My truth, trauma, and vulnerability is a relatable part of the human experience,” she says in the video. “I know I’m not alone, and I want to make sure that you know you aren’t either.”

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