For the past few months, American Football Tight End, Travis Kelce has been in the news primarily because of his well-known relationship with award-winning artiste, Taylor Swift.
The most recent news about him deals with a minor cultural dispute – because of his customary low-skin fade haircut, which as a result has made that look popular lately.
However, when an article referred to the style as “the Travis Kelce,” many people took offense, especially African-American commentators. The narratives, though, appear to suggest that the two-time Super Bowl champion created the particular fade.
African-Americans have been rocking low fades and skin fades for decades; they are practically a cultural staple. This is the reason why several people expressed disappointment with the opinions presented in the articles.
Black people have become used to the American media erasing or distorting their cultural contributions. There are countless examples, such as hipster culture, different dances, and rock & roll.
Historically, whether on purpose or due to ignorance of the historical background, information about these subjects downplays or completely erases the roles that Black people play in them.
Shannon Sharpe, who gained notoriety recently after interviewing Katt Williams, has never been one to back down when such narrative spring up.
On an episode of Nightcap Instagram show, podcast hosts and cultural analysts Sharpe and Chad “Ochocinco” Johnson vehemently addressed the controversy, criticizing a recent New York Times article that they claimed exclusively credited NFL player Travis Kelce for the popular fade haircut.
The issue brought up by Sharpe and Ochocinco is that, as the Times article points out, the fade haircut was invented by American service members and has been a part of American culture since the 1940s and 1950s. Since the mid-20th century, it has also been a noticeable feature in Black barbershops.
Sharpe stated, “Ocho, I’ve been getting a fade since 86,” in a video that was posted to YouTube.
Speaking about the publication, Shannon countered, saying, “So, New York Times, so that’s how you start Black History? Trav is my nephew, so are you going to give him credit for the fade?”
It’s unclear how many of the chorus of would-be media critics knew what the article said, but the former football players weren’t the only ones to voice their disapproval of it.
Travis Kelce has also weighed in, commenting on the aforementioned post, saying “These headlines are wild… the fade has been around long before my life even began.”