Confusing Update:
Travis Kelce #87 of the Kansas City Chiefs

Everyone’s Been Mispronouncing Travis Kelce’s Name

Ummm, what?

Travis Kelce shot to household name-level fame this year. He was even nominated for a People’s Choice Award for Athlete of the Year in 2023 — an honor he demurred as “f*cking nonsense.” And yet, Travis apparently isn’t famous enough for people to pronounce his name correctly. During the Chiefs game against the Miami Dolphins on Jan. 13, Travis’ teammate revealed the correct way to say his last name, and it’s not what you’d expect.

In an Inside the NFL clip, Chiefs player Chris Jones was captured chatting on the sidelines. “So y'all know it's not even Travis Kel-see?” he asked. Someone responded, “What is it?” Jones clarified, “It's Travis Kels. F*cking crazy, right?”

If you’re thinking, “Um, how does he know that?,” take it from the Kelce brothers themselves, who have previously opened up about the pronunciation of their last name. Per E!, they discussed it with their father on a February 2023 episode of their New Heights podcast. “Why in the world did you change your name out of nowhere and now we are Kel-see?” Jason Kelce asked his father. “Why did we think that our name was Kel-see for the first 24 years... 27 years of my life, 25 of Trav's.”

Ed Kelce’s reasoning was simple. “Because your mother thought it was Kel-see,” he told them. Apparently, he decided to go by that incorrect pronunciation because he “got tired of correcting people.”

David Eulitt/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images

Ed explained that it was how all of his coworkers referred to him. “That was my work name. And everybody at work [said] that and so I just said, ‘Fine, screw this,’” he said. (Apparently, Ed’s father also went by the mispronunciation.)

Then, Jason asked him, “Should we go by Kels or Kel-see?” Ed responded, “Do whatever you want, I did.”

Travis joked, “Imma go by both. How about that?” Jason decided, “I’m going by ‘Kel-see,’ don’t call me ‘Kels.’” Travis then added, “You can be f*cking Jason Kel-see. I’ll be f*cking Travis Kels ... Let’s f*cking go.”

Apparently, NFL commentators never got that message, as they continued to refer to both brothers as “Kel-see.” Perhaps next season Travis Kels will have a chance to shine.