During a feature segment on last week’s College GameDay, Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa revealed that his father would hit him with a belt for throwing interceptions as a child.
That was heavily criticized by media members and fans, so on Friday, prior to the Heisman Trophy presentation on Saturday, Tagovailoa explained the statement a little more.
Tagovailoa explained that in Samoan culture, respect is everything and you are supposed to do what your parents ask (via AL.com):
“Respect is the biggest thing in our Samoan culture so respecting my parents, respecting our elders and what our parents want for us is what we want for ourselves,” Tagovailoa said Friday. “Usually that’s how it goes. You do whatever your parents want you to do or expect you to do.”
His father is “everything to me,” Tagovailoa said.
“I’d say the little things mattered and you started to understand that,” Tagovailoa said Friday. “When you didn’t do things the right way, even the little things, there were consequences to it.”
While there’s respecting your parents and “consequences” for your actions, hitting a child with a belt for a mistake made on a football field still seems extreme.
Tagovailoa is in New York City for Saturday’s Heisman ceremony, where he and Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray are considered the favorites to win.