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What did Cincinnati mayor say about Patrick Mahomes? Explaining controversy that led to Travis Kelce ‘jabroni’ insult

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The Chiefs had no shortage of perceived slights to point out after their thrilling — and controversial — victory over the Bengals in Sunday’s AFC championship game.

Among the more peculiar chips on Kansas City’s shoulder, however, was an official proclamation by Cincinnati mayor Aftab Pureval, who made an ill-advised joke at the expense of Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Pureval’s comments naturally became a target of derision following the team’s 23-20 win over the Bengals.

No one was more vocal in their disdain than tight end Travis Kelce, who stole the show in a postgame mic-drop moment:

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Here’s everything to know about what Pureval said regarding Mahomes, plus the other perceived insults levied at the Chiefs and their QB.

What did Cincinnati mayor say about Patrick Mahomes?

Pureval on Friday issued a statement from his official Twitter account proclaiming Sunday as “They Gotta Play Us Day.” As part of the proclamation, he jokingly requested Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow take a paternity test to determine whether he was Mahomes’ father:

“Whereas Joseph Lee Burrow, who’s 3-0 against Mahomes, has been asked by officials to take a paternity test to confirming whether or not he’s his (Mahomes’) father,” Pureval said.

The joke, of course, is that Burrow is Mahomes’ “daddy” — terminology used in sports to indicate one player or team’s dominance over another. The Bengals entered Sunday’s game at Arrowhead Stadium with a 3-0 record vs. Mahomes and the Chiefs with Burrow under center.

MORE: Chiefs’ Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce clap back at ‘Burrowhead’ comments

Naturally, that joke didn’t sit well with Chiefs fans, hence Kelce’s reaction after the game. Pureval also called Arrowhead Stadium “Burrowhead,” referencing the fact Burrow led a victory there in the 2022 AFC championship game.

Mahomes spoke about it following the game, as well (though with less vitriol than his teammate):

For what it’s worth, Pureval apologized for the tweet before the game, saying his “love for Cincy” got the better of him. Too little, too late, it would seem. The Chiefs not only beat the Bengals, but unleashed a salvo of verbal retribution back at Pureval for his joke.

MORE: ‘Burrowhead,’ explained: How Mike Hilton’s bold Joe Burrow quote became bulletin board material

What is a ‘jabroni’?

One of the most notable shots taken at Pureval after the game came from Kelce, who dropped a diss on the Cincinnati mayor straight out of the ’90s-era WWF:

“Hey, I got some wise words for the Cincinnati mayor,” Kelce said. “Know your role and shut your mouth, you jabroni!”

For those who don’t know, a jabroni is a term used to describe an obnoxious or contemptible person. It was popularized by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson in the 1990s, though he said he took it from fellow talent the Iron Sheik, who used it backstage. Others to have used the term include Scott Hall, Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin and more.

Either way, don’t expect the smack talk to slow down anytime soon — not with the Chiefs finally clearing the Bengals en route to Super Bowl 57.


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