“Basically, everybody’s been very, very kind. Very respectful,” Donna, 71, exclusively told Us Weekly on Tuesday, November 14, while promoting her partnership with Ancestry®. “But every once in a while, I’ll have somebody that runs into the bathroom after me and I’m like, ‘Can we wait till we get out of here before you take my picture? I really don’t want to have a picture in the restroom.’ It’s things like that that are kind of funny, which I’m sure everybody gets that’s in the public eye.”
While Donna hasn’t let fan attention bog her down, she was shocked that some people have begun filming her without her knowledge. “I went to [see] a movie and somebody took a TikTok of me just recently and put it online, and I’m like, ‘Oh, my gosh,’” she recalled. “So it is a little unnerving at times, but it’s just, that’s a part of it. You take the good with the not so good. It is what it is.”
Donna noted that without public supporters, her boys wouldn’t have jobs as football players. “My kids get paid by fans. That’s the gist of it. And you had better be nice to them,” she explained. “That’s all I tell them.”
Jason, 36, and Travis, 34, have both been playing in the NFL for years and have both become superstars following their head-to-head matchup in Super Bowl LVII earlier this year. Jason is the center for the Philadelphia Eagles, who were ultimately defeated by Travis’ Kansas City Chiefs in the February championship game. Travis, meanwhile, is a tight end for his team.
Donna’s fame also rose after her kids faced off in State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, which marked the first time in Super Bowl history that brothers were against one another. Once Travis began dating Taylor Swift earlier this fall, the whole family’s popularity once again grew.
Swift, 33, has been spotted at several of Travis’ games beginning in September. She has even been seen chatting with Donna and the boys’ father, Ed Kelce, while rooting for the athlete.
While Donna initially teased that she’d “never tell” fans what she and Swift talked about during their first game day meeting, she later told the Today show hosts that they chatted about sports.
“I was talking about this. You know when the commercial people come out in the orange gloves and they’re on the field? I was mentioning that when they go like this,” Donna explained in October, making a circular motion with her hand, “the commercial’s over and they can play again.”
Donna noted at the time that the public’s fascination with their family is “fairly new” and “just one of those things where, you know, obviously everybody saw me. I was in the boxes with her and it’s just another thing that’s amped up my life.” (Travis, meanwhile, jetted off to Argentina in early November to support Swift on her Eras Tour during the Chiefs bye game.)
No matter who she’s sitting in the box with on Sundays, when it comes to the holidays, Donna is all about her family. Ahead of the Christmas season, Donna teamed up with Ancestry® to learn about her heritage and better share and preserve her family’s legacy.
“Family is really important to me … and football obviously is family too. But I think that I’ve been very, very pleased with the partnership with Ancestry specifically because of some of the new tools that they have,” Donna explained to Us. “They’ve got the ability to be able to upload photos and recipes and things like that, which really intrigued me and that’s why I decided to be in partnership with them.”
Donna revealed that among her findings on the website, she learned she has a “sprinter trait,” which she said, “makes a lot of sense.” The matriarch shared: “I was a sprinter when I was in high school and I was pretty fast. I could beat boys in middle school. That just stands to reason that my boys would be able to move quickly on the field too.”
Learn more about what Ancestry® can offer your family ahead of the holidays at Ancestry.com.
With reporting by Christina Garibaldi