ORLANDO, Fla. — It is often said that pro athletes live in a bubble and I found that out firsthand today at an NFL Pro Bowl practice when I asked Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce for his reaction to the shootings at the Pulse gay nightclub here last June 12 that killed 49 people.
Me: “How did you feel when you heard about the Pulse nightclub attacks eight months ago?”
Kelce: “I'm not gonna lie, I haven't even heard of them.”
Kelce: “Yeah, I don't listen to the media. A lot of it's negative stuff, especially when you're thinking of mainstream media, so I don't really turn on the news or read the newspaper. I hope everybody's all right and my prayers go out to everybody who was hurt, but I don't know much about it.”
In addition to the 49 people killed at the Pulse nightclub, the gunman was also killed and 53 people were wounded in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
I am at the Pro Bowl to ask NFL players their thoughts on the Pulse shooting and on having gay players in the sport (I will have a full report later in the week). Kelce, who was very gracious during our short interview, may not have known about Pulse, but he said he would have no problem having a gay teammate.
Kelce definitely has a knowledge of the media, having his own reality show on E!. But he is not alone in being in his bubble when it comes to news. This fall, Texans Coach Bill O’Brien said he didn’t care about the presidential election since he was too focused on football. And back in 1986, when the U.S. was gripped by the Iran-Contra scandal featuring Oliver North, then-Washington Coach Joe Gibbs said he had no idea who North was.