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Biden is hosting the Kansas City Chiefs – minus Taylor Swift – to mark the team’s Super Bowl title

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden is welcoming the Kansas City Chiefs to the White House on Friday to celebrate the NFL team’s third Super Bowl victory in five years.

The entire team was expected to participate in the event on the South Lawn for the second time in two years. But one person not expected was singer Taylor Swift, the girlfriend of tight end Travis Kelce.

Biden is honoring the Chiefs after their come-from-behind overtime win over the San Francisco 49ers in the Super Bowl in Las Vegas in February. It’s a longstanding tradition for major championship sports teams, both professional and collegiate, to be invited to the White House.

IN 2023, the Chiefs defeated the Philadelphia Eagles, first lady Jill Biden’s favorite football team. She grew up near Philadelphia and attended the game.

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Kansas City defeated San Francisco to claim the 2020 Super Bowl title.

The Chiefs shared on social media early Friday that “we’re celebrating our back-to-back championship seasons and victory in Super Bowl LVIII at the White House.”

Kicker Harrison Butker, who made headlines by assailing some of Biden’s policies during a commencement speech earlier this month, was expected to accompany his teammates to the White House. Butker recently defended his comments, saying he had no regrets about expressing his beliefs.

In the May 16 speech at Benedictine College, a private Catholic liberal arts school in Atchison, Kansas, Butker congratulated the women who were receiving degrees and said most of them were probably more excited about getting married and having children. He criticized some of Biden’s policy positions, including the Democratic president’s condemnation of the Supreme Court’s reversal of its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide. Abortion is an issue that Biden and his fellow Democrats hope to use to their advantage in the November elections.

Butker also tackled Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 1.2 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As for Swift, her absence was bound to disappoint many in the White House.

Press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre was left deflecting questions earlier this week about whether the 34-year-old singer-songwriter would show up.

“That’s a good question,” Jean-Pierre said. “I can’t speak to her schedule. But I know there’s a lot of interest in this building, on this campus.”

Swift was traveling abroad on her Eras tour, with a show scheduled for Thursday in Madrid.

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