The incident, which was caught by CBS cameras and went viral on social media, occurred early in the second quarter when the Chiefs trailed the San Francisco 49ers 3-0. Kansas City running back Isiah Pacheco had just fumbled away the ball inside the 49ers’ 10-yard line on a play that Kelce watched from the sideline.
After the turnover, Kelce approached Reid and gave him an angry earful, while grabbing his arm and bumping into him. The contact caused Reid to stumble a bit.
“I was just telling him how much I love him,” Kelce joked during an interview on ESPN.
Reid told the network in a separate interview that Kelce hugged him and apologized after the interaction.
“You know what, he just wants to be on the field and he wants to play,” said Reid, who played football at John Marshall High in Los Angeles and Glendale Community College. “And so there’s nobody that I get better than I get him. He’s a competitive kid and he loves to play.”
Some on social media weren’t as forgiving toward the nine-time Pro Bowler, who has become a household name this season because of his romantic involvement with pop icon Taylor Swift. The phrase “Roid Rage” was trending on X (formerly Twitter) Monday morning, with most such posts referencing Kelce’s sideline meltdown. Others have suggested that a Black player may have been treated differently in the aftermath of such an outburst.
During his postgame news conference, Reid told reporters he appreciates Kelce’s emotional side.
“The part I love is he loves to play the game and he wants to help his team win. And it’s not a selfish thing. That’s not what it is. And I understand that,” Reid said. “And so as much as he, you know, he bumps into me, I get after him and we understand that. He just caught me off balance.”
Kelce had nothing but love for Reid during his postgame news conference.
“I got the greatest coach this game has ever seen,” Kelce told reporters. “He’s unbelievable at not only dialing up plays and having everybody prepared, but he’s one of the best leaders of men I’ve ever seen in my life and he’s helped me a lot with that, with channeling that emotion and channeling that passion. I owe my entire career to that guy.”