For reference, the Onyx Club is a strip club in Atlanta, Georgia. Yes, Clark compared Tua’s body to a stripper.
Tagovailoa is known for his pretty calm demeanor, and appears to be a nice guy judging by interviews I’ve heard in the past.
However, he didn’t hold back when he was asked about Clark’s comments, saying:
“Ryan’s been out of the league for some time, so I don’t know. It’s a little weird when people are talking about other people, and they’re not that person. So, it’s just a little weird.
My background, like I come from a Samoan family where respect is everything, but it does get to a point where, hey, a little easy on that buddy. Because I think we’re pretty tough minded people and if we need to get scrappy we can get scrappy, just saying…
I think we all worked hard during the offseason, and I’m not someone to talk about myself the entire time, but it takes a lot. You think I want to build all this muscle? To some extent I wanted to be a little lighter.
I don’t know, there’s a mixture of things that people don’t understand that people don’t know about that talk about (what) goes behind the scenes. I’d appreciate it if you kept my name out your mouth. That’s what I’d say.”
Tua Tagovailoa with some strong words to ESPN’s Ryan Clark and his criticism that Tua didn’t seem to train well in offseason. He ends saying:
With that being said, Clark is now apologizing for his actions. He posted an apology video, saying:
“Yesterday, Tua Tagovailoa had to answer questions about something I said on Monday, something I truly just felt like was a joke to me. That I’ve realized, as the week has gone on, if this man has to answer questions about it, if so many Miami Dolphins fans are offended by it, then people ain’t taking it as a joke.
So let me be very clear, if I’ve offended you Tua, if I’ve hurt you, disrespected you, if anybody that supports and loves you feels some sort of way because of what I said, I truly apologize.
I had two priorities when I started this job. Number one, respect the players, the executives, and the coaches that make this game run. Number two, it was earn the respect of those very same people, and more importantly keep it. Anything contrary to that, then I gotta check myself.
Don’t get me wrong, my ego was involved. When Tua was asked about how he felt about these comments, and he said ‘keep my name out your mouth,’ my first thought is ‘or what?’ Or when he says he’s scrappy, I said to myself man I fed my family on violence, I ain’t tripping on that. But that’s the pride that doesn’t enable me to see what this dude’s going through.
The constant criticisms, the constant scrutiny, constantly being questioned. Feeling the stress of always having to prove yourself, just to show people you can be available.
And then you work throughout the entire offseason, which I talked to his trainer and said ‘that man was in there three times a day to build himself up to be healthy,’ and you gotta hear a comment like this. So I get it, I get it because I do want to respect Tua Tagovailoa. I get it because I want his respect too.
So to the Dolphins, to head coach Mike McDaniel who I have a ton of respect for, and most of all, Tua Tagovailoa and his family, I deeply apologize.”
Check it out:
When I decided to do TV I had 2 main priorities.
1. Respect all NFL players, coaches, executives and staff members.
2. Earn and keep the respect of those very same people.