It’s nothing new for NFL fans to talk about conspiracy theories, but players don’t usually get in on the tinfoil hat stuff.

But New York Jets star Sauce Gardner jumped into the latest conspiracy theory Monday. The All-Pro cornerback got flagged for a controversial holding penalty late in the Jets’ 23-20 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs Sunday night.

Many fans thought the penalty looked suspicious, and they hatched a theory: The NFL supposedly wanted the Chiefs to win the game, because pop icon Taylor Swift was on hand to watch Travis Kelce play.

The NFL did not help matters on Monday when its Instagram account noted, “Chiefs are 2-0 as Swifties.”

Gardner jumped into the fray Monday afternoon, tweeting, “Lmaoo maybe if I was a swiftie, the ref wouldn’t of threw the flag.”

Apparently, Gardner had second thoughts, because the message quickly disappeared. Or maybe someone from the Jets PR department or coaching staff reached out and suggested he delete it.

The penalty on Gardner drew immediate criticism from fans. Even NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth seemed surprised, noting “We’ve seen a lot of contact downfield tonight. We have seen a very physical approach out of the New York Jets. And we’ve seen a lot more than THAT, that wasn’t called.”

As NFL insider Dov Kleiman noted Monday in an X post about the issue, “Might as well just bet KC winning the Super Bowl this year… could already be decided.”

[Sauce Gardner, X]

About Arthur Weinstein

Arthur spends his free time traveling around the U.S. to sporting events, state and national parks, and in search of great restaurants off the beaten path.