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Authenticity questioned after jersey signed by Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift sold at charity auction

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A Kansas City Chiefs jersey signed by Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift was auctioned off for a Guelph, Ont. charity last week, but now questions are being raised about whether the signatures, or the jersey, are real.

The #87 jersey was donated to the Linamar Curling for Kids event in support of the Guelph Wish Fund – a charity that grants ‘wishes’ to children suffering from serious illnesses and injuries in the City of Guelph and Wellington County.

Last Friday, the winning bid was $21,000 CAD with 25 bids for the highly coveted jersey, days after the Super Bowl.

The jersey came with a certificate of authenticity but now those in the sports memorabilia business are raising concerns.

“I think the red flag for me was seeing the video of the donor walking through 11 items that were all the top athletes in the world, all very expensive autographs,” said Aaron Logan, from The Heritage Stick Company.

Donor reacts

Scott Johnston is the man who donated the sports memorabilia. CTV News reached out to Johnston about the allegations that the items are fake.

“The event raised over $120,000 and no none who purchased an item has complained,” Johnston said in an email to CTV News. “Everyone is entitled to their opinion.”

Johnston also said all other questions should be directed to his lawyer.

More items for sale

Scott Johnson also sells sports memorabilia online. He listed another signed Travis Kelce jersey a few days ago for $600.

CTV News did reach out Johnston’s lawyer for a copy of the certificate of authenticity and for a chance to respond to the allegations but we did not hear back.

Logan said he still has his doubts.

“If you were to see an authentic jersey signed by the two of them, it most likely comes out in a major event where, you know, Taylor's own foundation or Kelce’s foundation could reach their fan bases at the highest level and reach the most possible money,” said Logan.

Cloutsnchara in Kitchener specializes in sports memorabilia and said it is not impossible that the two stars signed the jersey.

“So it's not out of the realm of two celebrities signing the same thing. Even in the movie industry, the music industry. I always see multiple signatures from big stars on one item,” said Dan Pollard, vice president. at Cloutsnchara.

Jersey questioned

The jersey itself is also being questioned by experts.

“I think that when you see the name plates, the stitching is not straight. The numbers are puffy,” said Logan.

Guelph Wish Fund

The Guelph Wish Fund did not play a role in the auction and just benefitted from the money raised.

The charity's interim executive director told CTV news in an email they are hoping people share their positive experiences of the event.

“This would provide a more balanced perspective for those who may have doubts. It's worth noting that no one has come forward to complain to us, further indicating the overall satisfaction with the event,” said Jessica Hill from the Guelph Wish Fund.

In a release, the organization says, in part:

“All items, including the jersey signed by Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift, were generously donated at this third-party community event. As a result, we are currently unable to verify the authenticity of these items and ask any winning bidders with concerns or questions to please reach out to the event organizers."

"Our organization is committed to transparency and would like to apologize for any confusion this situation has caused. We would like to emphasize (or clarify) that this event was organized by dedicated volunteers in our community, and we are grateful for their efforts in supporting our cause.”

The organization also said they are grateful to the donors who supported the Curling for Kids Bonspiel Fundraiser and noted events like the bonspiel are vital to their mission of granting wishes to children facing medical challenges.

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