‘Black Kids Can’t Even Dance Across That Mf’: Travis Kelce Slammed for Drinking Beer Onstage at a Unique College Graduation Ceremony

Travis Kelce is caught in the crossfire as social media users call out the double standard of surrounding his actions during a special graduation ceremony. Travis and his brother, Jason, received their diplomas from the University of Cincinnati on April 11 during their “New Heights Live: We Gotta Talk About It” event at the school’s Fifth Third Arena. The event, a live airing of the NFL brothers’ podcast, combined their show with Olympic-style games featuring Cincinnati alumni and other special events, which included the commencement ceremony.

The spectacle has drawn criticism after the three-time Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl champion, adorned in a cap and gown, walked on stage with a beer that he chugged, then threw to the ground before being handed his diploma booklet. His celebratory display was cheered on by roaring audience members as he and his brother both got their sheepskins. (The Kelce brothers, both UC graduates, had never attended their respective live commencement ceremonies.) But online, a different conversation was taking place.

Travis Kelce is called out for his lack of decorum after chugging a beer while accepting his college diploma. Photos: NFL_Dovkleiman/Twitter.

“Chile lol black kids can’t even dance across that mf,” wrote an X user. Another commented, “Travis Kielce chugging a beer during his graduation ceremony: hehehehe Travis gonna be Travis!!!! Black kids dancing during their graduation: It just doesnt seem dignified for the moment…” Both individuals addressed the fact that Travis was lauded for making the most of the moment, while Black students have made headlines for being denied their certificates in similar showcases.

Toledo Bed, Bath and Beyond Racial Profiling Video (1)0 seconds of 2 minutes, 20 secondsVolume 0%

In 2018, there was public outcry when a University of Florida commencement ceremony was thrust into the media after students were grabbed and shoved off stage for symbolic celebratory dances. “It was definitely contingent on your race … other white students who were dancing were not perceived as a threat,” student Nafeesah Attah told ABC News.

University President Kent Fuchs would later acknowledge that the staff member who reprimanded the graduates acted “inappropriately” and  aggressively. He also issued individual apologies to the 21 students impacted, as well as a general statement expressing regret for the manhandling of the young adults at a subsequent ceremony.

Several members of the graduating class of 2023 at Scripps Ranch High School in San Diego faced harsh punishments ranging from suspensions to being banned from prom and commencement after participating in a twerk video filmed on campus.


Similar widespread frustrations were observed on social media last year when multiple Philadelphia High School for Girls graduates were denied their diplomas after doing brief dances before approaching their principal. One of the young ladies said she was “humiliated” when the administrator, Lisa Mesi, refused to hand over the certificates.

It was later revealed that the students were discouraged from doing any on-stage celebrations, as were their families, who were forbidden from clapping and cheering on their loved ones. A month after the June ceremony, Mesi was replaced at the magnet school.

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