Travis Kelce and the Great Rebuke - Culture Proof

Travis Kelce and the Great Rebuke

Travis Kelce helped me teach our son about authority.

The Athletic and Sports Illustrated ran stories about Jason Kelce’s rebuke of his younger brother, Super Bowl champion Travis Kelce. The brothers co-host a podcast called, New Heights and in the week following the younger Kelce’s win, the elder Kelce addressed his brother’s aggressive actions toward head coach, Andy Reid.

According to Sports Illustrated, the exchange between the brothers shaped up as follows:

“People are all over this and I mean, I get it,” Travis Kelce said at the beginning of the conversation.
Jason Kelce immediately called out his younger brother, saying: “You crossed the line. I think we can both agree on that.”
Travis Kelce agreed, saying: “I can’t get that fired up to the point where I’m bumping coach and it’s getting him off balance and stuff. When he stumbled, I was like, ‘Oh ----- in my head.”
Jason Kelce added: “Let’s be honest, the yelling in his face, too, is over the top. I think there are better ways to handle this, retrospectively.”

This rebuke is exactly what Travis Kelce needed to hear. While Coach Reid later said in a press conference that Kelce “caught me off balance,” this doesn’t change the fact that Kelce’s behavior was disrespectful of Reid’s position. Reid said, “I wasn’t watching. He was really coming over [and saying], ‘Just put me in, I’ll score. I’ll score.’ So that’s really what it was. I love that. It’s not the first time. I appreciate him.”

But still. Travis Kelce needed the tough love of a big brother to tell him the truth.

Coach Reid is the one in authority. He calls the plays and makes the decisions that affect the game. When Travis Kelce yelled at the coach and bucked up against him, it gave me an opportunity to draw a parental parallel with our oldest son. God delegates authority. The fact that Travis Kelce’s behavior made headlines confirmed that there is still a place for order, submission to authority, and recognition of the lack thereof.

Why does the Bible teach us so much about authority? It’s revealed in the relationship between God the Father and His Son, “But so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do exactly as the Father commanded Me…” (John 14:31). It’s illustrated in God’s design of the relationship between husbands and wives, “wives be subject to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church…” (Ephesians 5:22,23). It’s further seen in the relationships between children and parents (Ephesians 6:1-4), slaves and masters – which would include employer/employee dynamics (Ephesians 6:5-9), and governments and citizens (1 Peter 2:13-15). God ordains authority and submission in all human relationships!

God’s relationship towards us is one of authority. He is supreme; consequently, our engagement with Him commands total submission. This divine expectation is because of Who He is. Our submission has nothing to do with what we think is right or how we think something should be done. When we obey God and submit to His authority, we say, “You are God, and I am not.” His grace and mercy allow us to practice this order within human institutions.

Travis Kelce was out of order during Super Bowl LVIII. He disrespected the authority of his coach, and the world noticed. The world noticed, yet only the love of a brother rebuked him. It’s refreshing to know that real love can still be observed in our culture. When Coach Reid pulled Kelce from the game, there was no way to know that the Chiefs would win. But they did. The coach decided the opinion of the one he coached, and his team won. This fact may be another valuable lesson about authority.
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