Tua Tagovailoa’s father, Galu Tagovailoa, is the gatekeeper for the family. Tua has admitted going to Alabama was a decision made by his father, and it is one that has paid off as the Alabama quarterback has a chance to lead the Crimson Tide to its second straight championship.
Galu was criticized by some fans after an ESPN College Gameday segment aired on the morning of the 2018 SEC Championship. During the interview, Tua alluded to getting hit with a belt if he played poorly. Sports Illustrated detailed the Gameday segment.
“If I don’t perform well, perform the way I’m supposed to, I’m gonna get it after,” Tua said, before adding, “Just know the belt was involved and other things were involved, as well.”
Tua’s dad has a blast confirming the awful behavior, saying, “I was tough. He can go 15-for-15 with four touchdowns, but when he throws a pick, it’s the worst game. It’s the worst game.”
Here’s a look at the full Gameday segment with Tua’s family.
Tua’s Entire Family Moved to Alabama After He Headed to College
Galu admitted that their family’s life has changed since Tua threw the championship-winning pass against Georgia at the beginning of 2018.
“When Tua threw that ball, it changed everything,” Galu explained to Bleacher Report. “At the same time, it didn’t change us as a family. We took the blessings and have moved forward. We’re not running around thinking we’re special.”
Tua’s parents moved the entire family from Hawaii to Alabama. Tua is outspoken about his upbringing in Hawaii and speaks proudly of his Samoan heritage.
“It’s been like that since we were little; the support system from the community,” Tagovailoa told CBS 42. “It’s very family oriented down here, that’s the best way to describe it…I take a lot of pride in my culture. I’m full Samoan – the culture is most definitely different here than it is up there.”
Galu’s Discipline Has Drawn Criticism After a College Gameday Segment Aired
After the Gameday segment aired, fans across the country criticized ESPN for offering little pushback. WNDU TV’s Alex Wilcox explained his take on Galu’s discipline.
So to recap, Tua Tagovailoa’s dad:
– forced him to be a lefty
– beat him after he had a bad game
– chose his school
Tua is an incredible talent and somehow seems to have a good head on his shoulders, but that is the absolutely worst type of youth sports parent.
Others have pointed to a cultural difference as an explanation. ESPN’s Wright Thompson described Galu’s strict upbringing under his father Seu Tagovailoa. Seu passed away in 2014.
Seu’s other great love, besides his family and his church, was football. He fell in love with the game and enjoyed seeing his sons play. Seu ruled with absolute authority, with “the Bible and the belt,” as grandson and Navy tackle Adam Amosa-Tagovailoa says. “Our parents would never, ever question him,” says Adam’s brother Myron, a defensive tackle at Notre Dame.
Seu made it a point to never smile at his children’s sporting events. He didn’t want them to look into the stands and see him happy and then become satisfied. His mission went far beyond one game or season or team or life: Take a disgraced name and make it known, loved, respected. He came to Hawaii to redeem a family, and anything short of that redemption felt unacceptable. “Galu knew that,” Pisa says. “It was really hard on Galu when he was in school because he knew that’s what our dad wanted and what our grandfather wanted.”