Travis Kelce has been widely slammed for a “violent” act against his own coach during the first half of the Super Bowl.
The star Kansas City Chiefs tight end was obviously keen to impress as he played in front of girlfriend Taylor Swift, who watched the game from a suite full of surprising identities.
And he sniffed an opportunity to score the game’s first touchdown when Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes connected with wide receiver Mecole Hardman on a 52-yard pass that brought Kansas City within eight yards of the end zone.
Normally that’s prime Kelce territory as one of Mahomes’ favourite targets, but the veteran was stunned when Chiefs coach Andy Reid left him on the sidelines in favour of back-up Noah Gray, according to CBS.
As the Chiefs ran a running play which ended with Isiah Pacheco fumbling the ball and the 49ers regaining possession, Kelce exploded.
In the final game of a season where he also famously threw his helmet in frustration, Kelce rushed Reid and started screaming in his face.
He also knocked his coach off balance in an aggressive manner before being dragged away by a teammate.
It was a bad look for a man who has become one of the most recognisable athletes in America while dating pop star Swift.
“Travis Kelce looks like he just assaulted his coach,” Jack Poso tweeted.
“Unhinged lunatic Travis Kelce body checks his own head coach … what a jackass,” added another Twitter user.
“Kelce just lost his mind, running into Andy Reid on the sideline as he complained about the play call on Pacheco’s fumble,” Skip Bayless tweeted.
“Some coach would bench Kelce for that but this is the Super Bowl and he’s just too valuable.”
Kelce has become a target for a section of American society after appearing in a commercial to promote Covid vaccine provider Pfizer.
His relationship with Swift, who endorsed US President Joe Biden ahead of the 2020 election, has also made him unpopular with some conservatives.
That likely played in to the severity of the reaction to his actions at the Super Bowl, but even the biggest Kelce fans would have found it hard to defend his behaviour.